A

Antjie Somers
Antjie Somers – Anja Venter

In Afrikaans folklore, Antjie Somers is the ‘bogeyman’ used by adults to frighten children into good behaviour. Growing up in South Africa during the late 50’s and early 60’s, I firmly believed that Antjie Somers would arrive at my house at midnight to carry me away in her sack, as punishment for the mischief engaged in during the day.

The story is this: Andries Somers was a fisherman who committed murder and, in an effort to escape prosecution, he dressed in women’s clothing as a disguise. Children, being honest at heart, soon saw through his disguise and mocked him by calling him Antjie, a well-known name for women. Then one day, he just disappeared … and so did the children who mocked him.

Deesdae hoor kinders nie meer van Antjie Somers nie, en wel om twee redes. Eerstens is ouers so deur die jare geleer dat kinders ‘n sielkundige knou kan kry as hulle voortdurend bang is vir so ‘n mitiese karakter. (Daar is nou ‘n baie goeie rede vir my afwykende gedrag hier op my oudag. Tweedens was daar in Suid-Afrika natuurlik ook die Tokeloshe wat mettertyd vir Antjie Somers op die agtergrond geskuif het.

Daar is diegene wat beweer dat ‘n groot deel van ons bevolking bakstene onder hulle beddens sit om sodoende hoër van die grond af te slaap … die Tokeloshe is skynbaar ‘n vreeslike kort mannetjie wat nie bo-op ‘n hoë bed kan klim nie. Dan is dit dalk nie ‘n goeie idee om jou arms en bene van die te laat afhang wanneer jy slaap nie?

Advertisements