News / South Africa / Parliament

Bertus de Bruyn
2 minute read
21 Jun 2019
12:00 pm

WATCH: Khoi-San imbongi graces parliament at #Sona2019

Bertus de Bruyn

Bradley van Sitter made history last night as the the first Khoi-San invited to perform during the opening of parliament.

Bradley van Sitter during his rehearsal before the Sona.

Poet, Khoekhoegowab language expert and University of Cape Town academic, Bradley Van Sitters made history last night as the first ever Khoi-San imbongi.

KhoeKhoegowab was the original language spoken by the first inhabitants in the Cape, and is the most populous and widespread of the Khoisan language, reports Polokwane Review.

There are 2,000 speakers of the KhoeKhoegowab language in the Northern and Western Cape, 150,000 speakers in Namibia and only 200 in Botswana, according to the Western Cape cultural affairs department.

According to westerncapegangwatch.co.za, Van Sitters was a rapper from Athlone, Cape Town, in his youth.

During last night’s state of the nation address (Sona), it was his rhythmic, melodic praise-singing in the endangered Khoekhoegowab language that got people clicking and reacting on social media.

Watch Van Sitter make history at Sona 2019: 

An English translation of Bradley Van Sitter’s praise at the state of the nation address:

Language of our ancestors
Language of our fore parents
Language of my mother
My language

Welcome to ||Hui!Gaeb (Cape Town)
Our leader welcome

Creator bless the words of this leader so it can strengthen us. Let the name of the Creator Tsui||Goatse be lifted high

We honour, we are in praise and we are thankful that the Creator carried us through the day. Please guard over us during the night.

Creator help us to unite for our heritage

Creator bless our coming in and bless our going out. Bless everything that is said and bless everything that is heard. Bless us in our journey to inherit the Kingdom of the Heavens.

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