Our Vision

Our vision starts with the vision of the Ouklowers – the surviving members of the Oukloof community forcibly removed from their homes in 1965. Their determination to have their story recorded and to break the silence about the history of Oukloof here in Riebeek Kasteel in the Riebeek Valley inspired us in 2018 to help make that a reality.

We are a team of volunteers who have assisted with the recording and researching of that story. In the telling of it we pay respect to the Ouklowers whose courage, determination and leadership continue to inspire us. The Oukloof story told here is forever part of the history of this town and valley – and now it shall not be forgotten, but preserved. It is a story you will not find in the museums and the tourism literature of the town – yet!

As we have journeyed with the Ouklowers through their memories of a good life lost we have heard their pain caused firstly by the eviction and then sustained by over half a century of bitter silence and rejection. And we have grown to understand that other communities in the valley need to tell their stories too. Communities and survivors of dispossession and displacement. The descendants of the Ouklowers have their story to tell. As do their ancestors – right back to the first peoples of this valley. Their voices are silent – but their stories too need to be heard and respected. In the history of the peoples of this valley we find the history of the peoples of South Africa, Africa and the world.

Our commitment is to continue adding the voices and histories of the peoples of this valley – so that for once, and for eternity, they are recorded together as our shared history. The telling here of the history of Oukloof is the start of a process of collective storytelling – and hopefully of community healing and reconciliation. Please join us in that process and journey, and in paying respect to the memory and history of Oukloof. It is our shared story and legacy.