Creative Work

October 26, 2020

Hou jou bêk

Gabriela Carolus

Hou jou bêk: the AFRI – KAAPs representation of young girls and women lived experiences of sexual and gender-based violence on the Cape Flats, Western Cape Province.

Hou jou bêk is an artwork and an ongoing poetry project to unpack the gendered approach of sexual and gender-based violence on the Cape Flats. The use of Afri – Kaaps is an analytical tool to deconstruct the taken for granted assumptions and heteronormative views of the social determinants of health in the lived experiences of young girls and women on the Cape Flats in the Western Cape Province. Stemming from a poem submitted to an online competition, the graduate student reflects on conducting interviews with poets in a pandemic. Hou jou bêk is a three-part biographical poem illustrating the persistent silence concerning SGBV in Coloured communities on the Cape Flats. The poems deconstruct the physical, mental, and societal pressures projected on females and internalised into silence by community members, and themselves. The author illustrates the social narrative as a young woman returning to her parents’ community during lockdown, and the inability to breathe in a community forced to silence.

Hou jou bêk

Ek hoor dit by die huis
Ek hoor dit in die skool banke
Nou hoor ek dit op government tv
Juffie DZ

Ek kry ‘n dubelledoose
Net as ek arm is
Met skole wat my na laat
Ek twyvyl of ek my bek kan hou
Want toe bek
Of hoe nou
juffie DZ
wat sê d’jy dan nou?
sê jou sê
maak gou.
Ek raak wys
Of hou sê
Ek dan nou.
Sissa hou haar bek oor
Wie haar by die huis
want almal sê
hou jou bek
dus hou dinge hier ontvou.



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Gabriela Carolus C

About Gabriela Carolus

Name: Gabriela Penelopé Carolus Nationality: South African Career: Project Officer in FASER – SA team, Psychiatry Department, Stellenbosch University. Contextualising the self:  I am an MPhil (Health Systems and Public Health) student in the Department of Global Health. My research interest is working with young women and their interaction with health systems for them and about them in the context of Southern Africa. I am a social scientist by training, as I have completed my Masters in Sociology at Stellenbosch University. In so doing, I have gained extensive knowledge in ethnographic research and the Activist space in the education sector. I am the Vice chairperson of the Tygerberg Postgraduate Council 2020 /2021. In my personal capacity, I am a trail runner and yogi. I am always keen to walk or run with people in the mountains or along the Coast. A break away from reality, well, it is a small place where I am at peace with nature. Fun Fact / Favourite Quote: “Just keep swimming…swimming…swimming.” (Cf. Finding Nemo, 2003)