Hello friends, and welcome to the Revolution Route, Cape Town. You should be standing on Spin Street, outside the coffee shop called Bread Milk and Honey.
My name is Iain Harris, I’m the founder and creative director of narrative travel company Coffeebeans Routes. I conceived of and produced this audio tour, it builds on the four hour guided Revolution Route we launched in 2014, introducing guests to the people and stories that have shaped our Revolutionary past. Today I will be simply prompting you with directions.
GAEL: !Gai tses – hallo. Cape Town, the Mother Citi welcomes you. Khaits-go? Are you awake? Skrik wakker. Vuka.
IAIN: That’s Gael Reagan. Gael gave me my first real break as a journalist back in the 90s when she was the arts editor of the Cape Times. She was a journalist for underground newspaper Grass Routes in the late 1980s, covering the revolution as it took place. She’s covered the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for SABC TV, been an arts editor for a daily paper, and these days she’s a freelance journalist. Gael wrote this walk, and she is the narrator.
GAEL: “Khaits-go” is how the very first peoples of this earth, the Khoesan - the people who are philosopher hunters and gatherers - greet. In this one call is the core of a universe. The question statement is a cultural greeting – it is a constant call to your consciousness, your awareness. You see, this space, where all our ancestral mothers and fathers birthed and lived freely, sometimes aggressively, is where the KhoeKhoe named our species. ‘Khoe’: that is, ‘human’.
This is not only to distinguish you from all else that exists – water and proteasucculent and stone and wolf – but also to indicate for you the defining quality of your species. In the Latin root of the tongue you are named sapient: discerning, intelligent, wise. Our wisdom is derived from consciousness and expressed through language. Khoekhoe means a person’s person – the protocol of personhood, humanity, Umuntu umuntu ngabantu. I am a person because you are a person – it implies full understanding, obligation and agreement. You are because I am.
IAIN: It’s time to start walking. Turn so that Bread Milk and Honey is on your right-hand side.
There’s a street up ahead. Walk towards it, and then cross over at the traffic lights. I'll meet you on the other side.
VoiceMap uses GPS to pinpoint your location and trigger the relevant audio. This means you can put your phone away now and relax. I will tell you where to go.