David Drengk is a young Africa historian who has graduated from the Humboldt University in Berlin and Leiden University/the African Studies Center Leiden (ASC). He holds a diploma in area studies Asia/Africa, Agricultural Sciences (B.A.) as well as African Studies (M.A. Research). Mr. Drengk focuses particularly on social and oral history in a Southern African context. Previous research projects have led the young researcher to Southern Malawi and the Wild Coast in South Africa where he conducted fieldwork in several local villages on historic social structures and social interactions in the past.
Searching for Waves and Peace: Transkeian surfing under Apartheid rule
This paper dives into the rich history of surfing before 1994 in the heartland of the Wild Coast in the former Transkei. It explores surfing and surf explorations in this remote area during the birth decades of surfing in South Africa against the historic background of the time. Furthermore the paper looks at – based on research along the Wild Coast – what pushed a young generation of surfers to leave the familiar behind and set out into the unknown. It highlights young white surfers’ standing in conservative South African society and concludes that although people tend to oppose the segregationist policies of Pretoria, still their lived realities on local Transkeian beaches mirror their privileged positions within apartheid society.
Surfing and the collected narratives open up a wide field of oral and social history, which is based on people’s memories and experiences. A resulting history of the people can consequently add its picture to South African (surf) historiography from a local perspective.