There is much truth about our history hidden from us as South Africans. Our real history has purposefully and maliciously been distorted by Apartheid-era 'academics' in the interest of propagating the false notion that Camissa and South Africa was "civilised" by the Dutch upon the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652. 

Those who held power during colonisation and Apartheid erased and omitted any stories that would give Khoisan & Slave descendants a sense of dignity and a claim to an identity of their own. Most of our real history has still not been incorporated into academic literature and other mainstream resources and thus the truth, Our Truth, is still hidden.

The research done over many years by Historian, Storyteller and Educator  Patric Tariq Mellet needs to not only be spread and read far and wide but should hopefully lead to a situation where academics and education authorities start making concerted efforts to rectify the falsehoods and ensure that our children are taught the truth in our schools.

The aim of his blogsite, Camissa People, is to celebrate the heritage of the descendants of Cape Indigenes and the enslaved and to provide educational stories that encourage all to go and read and learn more about our ancestors, their struggles and their ability to rise above adversity.

Patric Tariq Mellet was born and grew up in the working class districts of old Cape Town – Salt River, Woodstock and District Six. His family were poor working people from what was regarded as a grey area community of people who were classified during the Apartheid years, as ‘coloured’ and ‘white’ but defiantly contradicted the official segregationist paradigm and did not neatly fit into these labels. In old racist colonial terms many people in this area would have been seen as Quadroons, or in street language as “having a touch of the tar”.

Tariq, as he is more popularly known, is one of 13 children. He grew up in 3 foster homes, a children’s home and an industrial trade’s school. He first went out to work in a factory at the age of 16 having only attained a rudimentary vocational education.

Tariq’s mother was single parent working as a machinist in the garment industry and as a shop attendant in laundry and dry-cleaning shop in District Six. She was a member of the SA Congress of Trades Unions aligned Cleaners and Dyers Union.  

Tariq’s father, a shoemaker in a factory in Woodstock, had four wives and was not prominent in his upbringing. His maternal great grandparents were from Cala in Xalanga district of Tembuland in the Transkei. Tariq’s maternal great grandfather was an Englishman who lived from 1808 to 1908 and his great grandmother, a ‘Coloured’ woman who had been born to a free slave woman in 1830 in the Eastern Cape.

Tariq’s paternal grandfather was from a small village called Lemoenshoek near Barrydale in the Kannaland. He married a woman from District Six where they settled in 1918. Tariq’s paternal grandparents lived at No;6 Sterling Street, District Six, where Tariq’s father was born in 1922. The grandparents had three more children and remained in District Six until 1930 after which they moved to Doornhoogte (today Rylands) and then to Bokmakierrie in Athlone, where his grandmother Elsie, a traditional healer passed away at an early age. His grandfather and children then moved to Crawford and his grandfather remarried and had three more sons.

Click Here to Continue Reading the Biography of Patric Tariq Mellet on Camissa People