Father and daughter evoke the erased history of Stellenbosch

Ilze Wolf

On Saturday November 18, Gallery University Stellenbosch (GUS) will facilitate the second edition of Die Vlakte Walking Tour, an initiative of Wilfred Damon and Ilze Wolf.

Die Vlakte neighbourhood was demolished between 1969 and 1972 as part of apartheid’s project of forced removals of racialised people of colour from the centre of Stellenbosch.

This project aims to evoke the lived experiences of Die Vlakte and to bring this recent history into the awareness of the public.

Wilfred Damon started his life in 1951 in the brown residential area of Stellenbosch called Die Vlakte, and lived there until 1971, when he was relocated to Cloetesville, along with most of the residents of that neighborhood, under the apartheid laws of the time.

In his later years, he worked as an educationalist, engaging with the young minds entrusted to his care in class at the primary, secondary and tertiary level.

His daughter Ilze urged him to share his stories with a wider audience, as there is very little published historical writing on Die Vlakte available. It is important to Wilfred that a place, its history and people should not die out, especially as the voices of its former residents become quiet.

The tour will end at GUS with a music performance of acoustic guitar by Wilfred, and refreshments will be available.

The project is made possible by the support of graduating fourth-year visual art students from SU, coordinated by Nicolene Burger. Contact 071 550 1427 or gus@sun.ac.za