Silent Killer - The Unfinished Campaign Against Hunger Silent Killer - The Unfinished Campaign Against Hunger
SHOW SUMMARY
INTERVIEWS
NEWS & REVIEWS
ENDORSEMENTS
BUY THE FILM
SCHEDULED EVENTS
PRESS KIT
OUR PARTNERS
CREDITS
Dawid Kruiper
Khomani San Traditional Leader
Video
The life of the bushmen is not the same as it was before.

ABOUT
Dawid Kruiper is a traditional leader and healer of the Khomani San people, hunter-gatherers living in the Kalahari Desert. They are more commonly known as Bushmen. Dawid Kruiper refers to himself as a Bushman, though not all San people are comfortable with the term Bushmen, which was originally applied to them by Europeans.
INTERVIEW
I was born in the Kalahari National Park (now Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park) and there have been a lot of changes since then. Many things have been modernized. Many other people have come into the life of the Bushman people. The life of the Bushmen is not the same as it was before.
I am a natural born. I have something inside of me that no one can take away. I am there always for my community, but I do things the natural way.
"Our traditional lifestyle was much better."
I would say that our traditional lifestyle was much better. The Bushman understood himself, but these days a lot of other factors come into play. For instance, there is the political life versus the traditional life of my people.
I really do not want to refer back to the apartheid years, but it was during those years that we were driven out of the park.
"I just want to live the natural way. I am most comfortable like that."
Listen right now, while I am talking, to the sound of that weaver bird. As the leader of the San people, I do not want to be living like a millionaire. I do not want that life, it is not me. I just want to live the natural way. I am most comfortable like that, like that weaver bird.
Even if his nest falls down or is burned out by lightning, it is easy for him to gather grass and rebuild his house. I can move anywhere, anytime. I can collect my home, my grass, and rebuild my home. And that is the way I would like to be. On the other hand, like that bird, if I can just have freedom and rights, I would be happy.
"The western people pray when they would like to have something. We do it our way."
Dance has great meaning for the Bushman people. It might seem like it is a game of cat and mouse around the fire, but it is not like that for the Bushman people. It has great, great importance for us.
I usually do the dance to call the rain. Even when it is a full moon, the people are dancing, they are happy. The western people pray when they would like to have something. We do it our way, and our way is to go into the trance dance and call the rain.
"Let me move on to the point of the Hoodia"
Let me move on to the point of the Hoodia. I am a traditional healer. I use the Hoodia for various purposes and I am very concerned that those people who took our knowledge will make some anti-drugs out of that and maybe make some poison out of it.
They stole the knowledge of our people. Took it. And we gain nothing from it.
Now I am in talks with the CSIR (South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Affairs). I would like to also do some research with them, and then I will continue responding on that matter.
There are no formal agreements or any further talks, but we definitely want to reach an agreement in writing to ensure that my people will be compensated.
"I would like to say to the world, my people are really suffering."
What is the solution? Is the solution that the world leaves me and my people alone to stay and continue our natural life and our traditional knowledge. But on the other hand, I can not really say that the world should leave me alone; I also need the support.
I am very, very poor. And I am also suffering very much. I would like to say to the world, my people are really suffering. Please support our fight to get the company to pay us back.
The Bushman is like a jackal, and a jackal is like a Bushman. I have to depend on what is left over, like little bones and so on, and often there is nothing to eat. The jackal lies. It is the nature of an animal. If there is nothing else, then he would probably go out and steal the sheep off the Boers. For me, my wife, and the other people, it is like that. We need to go out and search for something. So we don't want to struggle any more.
"My focus is on the tourism side, because that's where I can really make my living from our traditional knowledge."
The world should know about the oppression of the Bushman and they should also support and make life better for us. I still feel that we are very much being oppressed.
The government has given us the park back. I know that it will be a huge task to really develop the land, but mostly my focus is on the tourism side, because that's where I can really make my living from our traditional knowledge. If the people can just give us the freedom and a little bit of support, I am sure I can make something out of this land.
I am referred to as a Bushman, and I feel very comfortable with that name. Actually, we are called Sa, and not San, because San is a new name for Bushman. In the Bushman language Sa'si means Bushman. It is a new name. It is actually a collective name for various Bushman tribes, and to make one collective name, they refer it to as San.
I would like also to say to the world that the San are here and that you should support us and our traditional way of life.



Home  |  About the Film  |  Hunger in Depth  |  Take Action  |  Press Kit  |  Buy the Film  |  Teacher's Guide  |  Site Map  |  Contact
2005 KCTS Television. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  The interviews on this Web site were all conducted between 2002 and 2004 for the film SILENT KILLER.
The opinions the interviewees express are theirs alone and do not necessarily represent those of the producers of SILENT KILLER,
nor of other interviewees, nor of KCTS Television.  The interviews have been edited for length and translated into English where needed.