Taalmuseum talk about koeksisters and koesisters

The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum en -monument (ATM), the ATKV and LAPA Publishers will collectively celebrate International Museum Day with a special programme on Saturday 20 May 2017 in Paarl.

According to Michael Jonas, Director of the ATM, Museum Day is annually celebrated worldwide on or around 18 May, after being proclaimed by the International Committee of Museums in 1977: “The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness about the important role of museums in society. This year’s theme is ‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’. Our celebration will focus on the Afrikaans’ community’s food heritage – we do not all have the same traditions, but our traditions have many shared origins and influences which were sometimes not recognised in the past but can now be embraced.”

Three top bakers will participate in a conversation, led by Shireen Crotz of the WOW spelling bee, about the subject “It is my koeksister and your koesister”. Koelsoem Kamalie and Flori Schrikker, South Africa’s favourite aunties from Bonteheuwel in the Cape who shot to fame after sharing their recipes on radio. They have published two cookbooks and have their own cooking programme on television. The third participant is Gonny du Plessis, chairperson of the Suider-Paarl branch of the Vroue Landbouvereniging (VLV) (Women’s Agricultural Society). She has been involved with the VLV for more than 40 years and has a keen interest in the baking industry. Dr Willem Botha of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) (Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language) will talk about the origin of the word koeksister. The rieldans group Betjies van Betjiesfontein will perform on the museum’s front stoep at 09:00 and again at 12:30.


The function starts at 10:00 in the Historium Conference Centre next to the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum in Pastorie Avenue and ends at 13:00. The books Kook saam Kaaps and Soettand will be for sale. Attendance is free of charge and includes light refreshments, but only a limited number of seats are available. Book with Nkita Pietersen at 021 872 3441 or  The Taalmuseum will be open free of charge to visitors from 08:00 tot 14:00.

Educational programme for schools

The ATM will host a special educational programme in celebration of International Museum Day during May. Six schools will visit the museum for a multi-media presentation and the monument for an educational tour. The interactive programme will focus on the Afrikaans language, as well as on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, which forms part of the Social Science Curriculum Assessment for grade 7 learners in the second term. For more information about the ATM’s educational programmes, contact Janine Brown at 021 872 3441 or