The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims: Afrikaans at the Cape from 1815 to 1915 – A Sociolinguistic Study by Achmat Davids, edited by Hein Willemse, Suleman E Dangor Achmat Davids (left) with the then President of South Africa Nelson Mandela (right) and Rev. Alan Boesak (2nd right) pay a visit to the predominantly Muslim area of Bo-Kaap at Cape Town in 1992.
The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims by the late Achmat Davids was launched at Cape Town’s Timbuktu Books on Friday night. The launch commenced with a brief prayer lead by book shop proprietor, Saliegh Salaam, who said that he was extremely honoured to host the community and delighted to introduce the speakers. What followed was an erudite discussion with the book’s editors, Hein Willemse and Suleman E Dangor, who were joined by the visiting professor, Muhammed Haron, from the University of Botswana. Achmat Davids wrote The Afrikaans of the Cape Muslims after coming across ancient Arabic scrolls that he could not decipher, unitl he figured out that it was written in Afrikaans. This lead him to research the establishment of Arabic-Afrikaans texts and the emergence of the Cape Muslim Afrikaans. As I recently said in an interview for the Voice of the Cape radio station, Davids found that at the time when Dutch was still spoken at the Cape, the Malay people were already speaking and writing Afrikaans. Davids passed away at the age of 59 in 1998 shortly after completing the book, but with the help of the editors Hein Willemse and Suleman E. Dangor, we are pleased to launch the book at Timbuktu Books in Cape Town.