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Die Hobo se Begrafnis

'n Pragtige, treffende storie van 'n vrygewige Suid-Afrikaanse musikant.

A beautiful, touching story from a generous South African musician.

As 'n doedelsakspeler, het ek al by baie gigs in Gauteng gespeel, maar nog nie so veel sedert ek onlangs Kaap toe getrek het nie. As a bagpiper, I’ve played many gigs up in Gauteng, but not so many since recently moving to Cape Town.
'n Ruk gelede is ek gevra deur 'n begrafnisondernemer om by die begrafnisdiens van 'n hawelose man te speel. Hy het geen familie of vriende gehad nie. Die diens sou by die munisipale begrafplaas in Kraaifontein wees. Recently, I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends. The service was to be at the municipal cemetery in Kraaifontein.

Ek bly nou naby Simonstad en ken nie die noordelike voostede so goed nie. Ek het 'n bietjie verdwaal op pad soontoe. Uiteindelik, 'n uur laat, het ek daar aangekom en sien toe dat die begrafnis man en sy wa reeds weg was. 'n Paar grafgrawers was nog daar en hulle het gesit en middagete eet.

I now stay in Simonstown and was not familiar with the northern suburbs. I got a bit lost on my way there. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.
There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.
Ek het sleg gevoel en om verskoning gevra dat ek so laat was. Ek stap toe na die kant van die graf en kyk af. Die ouens het reeds begin om die graf toe te gooi en ek was half onseker wat om te doen, toe begin ek maar speel.

Die werkers het hulle toebroodjies net daar neergesit en hulle kom skaar by my om die graf. Diep geraak deur die wete dat die man eensaam gesterf het, speel ek "Amazing Grace" soos nog nooit tevore nie. Die oomblik het die werkers aangeraak en ons almal was in trane.

Toe ek klaar is, pak ek my doedelsak op en keer terug na my kar. Alhoewel ek met 'n geboë hoof daar weg is, was my hart tot oorvloedens toe vol.
I felt badly and apologised to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The guys had already started filling in and not really knowing what else to do, I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.  And as I played ’Amazing Grace,' the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together.

When I finished, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.
Net toe ek my kardeur oopmaak, hoor ek een van die werkers opmerk, "Jislaaik manne, hierdie was darem nou die all-time surprize in die twintig jaar wat ek septiese tanks insit." As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "Jislaaik, I never seen nothin' like that before in the twenty years I've been putting in septic tanks."
....blykbaar is ek nog steeds verlore. ....Apparently, I'm still lost.