Like the Amish, the Boers of Angola remained caught in a time bubble. Far from their culture, this small group of Afrikaners maintained their “Afrikanerskap” under very difficult circumstances. The community of about 400 Afrikaners who remained in Angola after 1928 were left to oblivion, and were later described as a “living fossil” and victims of their own conservatism. During these Angola Boers’ stay in Angola there was little chance of farming and far too many problems: a problematic relationship with the Portuguese authorities, while inadequate economic and educational opportunities, and the resulting poverty, sometimes led to shocking decay. In 1928 about 2000 Angola Boers were repatriated to the then South-West Africa (now Namibia). Some did attempt to make a living of mixed farming, transport riding and hunting – decades after this lifestyle had died out elsewhere. After civil war broke out in Angola in 1975 the last Afrikaners fled Angola, and so the bond between the Angola Boers and Angola came to an end after almost a century. Their interesting and colorful lives are described, and the possibility that wanderlust was the reason for their peregrinations is examined.
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About the Author
Nicol Stassen has a bachelor's degree in Languages, a master's degree in Chemical Engineering and a doctorate in History. He is a research fellow at the University of Pretoria. His previous publications include William Chapman: Reminiscences (2010) and The Boers in Angola, 1928‒1975 (2011).