Khoisan identity has undergone a revival in recent years with the community looking to correct perceptions around their history and identity, as well as putting an end to their marginalisation within South African society.
Beginning with the term, social commentator and the convener of the Khoisan6 leadership Conference Dr Leonard Martin explains that the term Khoisan arose largely because of the linguistic divisions that took place across Africa.
He says the correct term is Khoena - ' people or men of men'.
The term Khoisan came up through the influential work of an anthropologist and has become convention. Of course with the restoration movement, all these terms are being reexamined in terms of their linguistic validity because they were actually made current and conventional within the colonial epoch.— Dr Leonard Martin, Social commentator and the convener - Khoisan6 leadership Conference
Speaking on the marginalisation of the group, Martin explains how it dates back to the brutalisation of the Khoena people under colonialism.
In the epoch where institutionalisation of terminologies were a colonial institutionalisation, we got the national question emerging in South Africa. The elaboration of the national question wrote the Khoena or the Khoi-Khoi people out of African history and we are back to the point now for whom was this national question?— Dr Leonard Martin, Social commentator and the convener - Khoisan6 leadership Conference
What happened was the substitution of an equally misleading term - coloured.— Dr Leonard Martin, Social commentator and the convener - Khoisan6 leadership Conference
Martin says alongside the renaming and restoring must be the issue of land - a central part of the restorative movement.
A rational dialogue is necessary and at the moment we have irrational fears, the thieves do not want to give up what is now claimed to be their land. This question [land question] is not going to go away.— Dr Leonard Martin, Social commentator and the convener - Khoisan6 leadership Conference
The Khoina people have been silenced.— Dr Leonard Martin, Social commentator and the convener - Khoisan6 leadership Conference
The land question is at the heart of the restorative movement of the Khoina people.— Dr Leonard Martin, Social commentator and the convener - Khoisan6 leadership Conference
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...
This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] What is central to the restorative movement of the Khoena people?