The mother of all rap may be alive and well in the desolate Namaqualand - Grietjie Adams 



Grietjie Adams has blossomed despite the odds. Grietjie is 78 years old. Some say she is the mother of rap. What is a fact is that her songs tell stories from South Africa's history. And she sings an Afrikaans that is poetry.


Grietjie Adams was born on a farm in Garies and went to school for only four years. Despite years of being a domestic worker, she never stopped singing. Her life story is inextricably bound with the story of her town, Garies, and all its people. The intimacy and interdependency of small town life during apartheid shaped her as much as did the indigenous culture of her own people. The relative isolation of the region and the town mean that people - despite race or class - have an interconnectedness not found in the cities.


The viewers are allowed into a modest but rich world. As her friend Aletta says, "We may be poor, but what we do have are bags and bags of love." And through Grietjie's eyes we can look at ourselves and ask the question, "Did I deserve this all?"



Director + Producer: Odette Geldenhuys; Camera: Odette Geldenhuys, Bart Smithers, Tonia Selley; Editor + Post Production: Thomas Barry; Assistant editor: Hope Mabaso; Sound: Tonia Selley; Researcher: Serina Cloete; Final mix: Tinus Smit, Postmasters



Screenings: Berlin International Film Festival, SABC2, Women's International Film Festival in Seoul, Durban International Film Festival

Awards: ATKV Award for Best Afrikaans Documentary 2004, The South African Academy for Science and Art Honourary Award

Encounters Film Festival 2005