Two years ago, I stayed almost a month to interview some of the Cape Malays in Capetown, South Africa about their heritage and history
If you have not heard of the Cape Malays, they are a group of Malays exiled to Cape of Good Hope (Now Capetown) in the 16-17th century from the Malay Archipelago (Nusantara). More than 360 years later, the Malay descendants still thrives on and created their own community especially in Bo Kaap, located in the heart of Capetown and the Table Mountain as background.
You can read my posts via VOCKET
And read the rest of three posts via the website on Cape Malay food, culture and language I wrote while I was there.
I’ve also given a talk about my research outcome last September at the National Museum (Muzium Negara) , Malaysia if you would like to listen
This is not about me, but about our ‘forgotten ‘ brothers and sisters, probably ancestors who is currently under threat due to the continous discrimination and attempts to turn and ‘developed’ Bo Kaap.
Historically, Bo Kaap and District Six (already demolished and left as empty lot during the Apartheid) were the early Malay settlements after they were released from prison and slavery due to the Apartheid. Not only they were oppressed by the Colonial during the 16-17 th century (though a few well known ulama like Shaykh Yusuf Macassar were well respected). But many were forbid and oppressed from practicing Islam openly, forced not to speak their native language – Malay Language and change the socioeconomy of the Cape Malays who were very creative and skilled artisan, fisherman, builders into a poor and displaced to a far away location during the Apartheid through District Six demolition.
Despite all the oppression , their Deen remain steadfast and Islam spread to almost half of Capetown population are muslim thanks to the dakwah made by the Malay hafiz, ulama who set up mosques and Islamic school which used to teach Muqaddam, and Jawi too (though by now Arabic were used more and the Jawi writings remains only as manuscripts by the early writers)
Therefore, I humbly request help from all of you here regardless if you are Malay or not to help the Cape Malay in Capetown to preserve & protect their heritage town, Bo Kaap , South Africa. You can read their petition before deciding if you can help sign and contribute to the petition.
Fyi, the President of Melayu and Cultural Heritage Society, Abdullah Waggie is setting up another Islamic school that he founded Ieglaasi Nieyah Primary School at a new location, which the society plans to set up a mini museum which will also collect and display Malay manuscripts in Capetown, written by the Cape Malays (some were in Jawi writings!)
I hope by sharing this post will help reach more people who might be able to help them in protecting their heritage and history from being destroyed like what happened to District Six. Therefore, every little help, would mean a lot to the Cape Malays there who unfortunately, is a minority within minority.
If you have been following my writings on my research last two years on the Cape Malays history and heritage, here’s how you can help.
The Cape Malays need all the help they can to support their cause preserving & protecting their heritage ‘kampung’ , Bo Kaap , located in the heart of Capetown , South Africa.
Other helps are also welcomed, contact me if you would like to contribute further. Thank you for taking the time to read.
Click this link to help them: Save Bo Kaap