The Rolbos Factfile

Rolbos is the remains of a small mining town in the Kalahari, after the Sillimananite was finished. During its boom years, the church was built and the main street got a name. Voortrekker Weg, spelled wrongly, does however help tell the story of the town and what remained of a once-flourishing community. Sammie’s Shop, Boggel’s Place and Precilla’s Apteek all line the street, as does the church, the diminutive post office and the police station. and

Bokkop is the hill where they mined the Sillimanite, and is about a kilometer from town. It also has the only fountain with drinkable water in the area.

Grootdrink is the nearest town, on the way to Upington.

Boggel – deformed since birth and getting worse. A good listener who rarely interrupts the late-night drunken flow of words in his bar. Shares a cushion below the counter with Vrede, the town’s only dog, where he (Boggel, not the dog) reads old Reader’s Digests.  When the conversation in the bar warrants it, he’ll get on an old beer crate to be able to see over the counter, otherwise he’ll just shove the beers into the direction of the sound of an empty glass. He never talks about his past.

Boggel’s Place – the bar where most of the action takes place.

Gertruida – the woman who knows everything. She has an impressive library at home and is an avid reader of The National Geographic Magazine. Rumour has it that she is the only person in Rolbos with a modem-connected laptop to surf the Internet, but that has never been proven. She has a shady past, something to do with National Intelligence, about which she never speaks. Vetfaan once asked her if she used to be a spy. He had to see Precilla after that, to get some Brufen. and as well as

Vetfaan – after a heart-wrenching break-up with the love of his life, he farms alone out on the other side of Bokkop, but spends most of his time in Boggel’s Place. Used to play lock for Kenhardt’s first team, where he learnt that beer is made from vegetables, wine from fruit and chocolate from nuts. Not the sharpest pencil in the box, but with a heart of gold. He sometimes makes a pass at Precilla, but she’s way too clever for him. survivor/

Kleinpiet – the other successful farmer in the district. Specialises in producing stud rams and tall stories. He is also the only known beer-foam artist in on record to have done the Union Buildings on Boggel’s counter.  When he was much younger, he played flank for De Aar C. He, too, will chat Precilla up from time to time, but his natural shyness prevents any lasting relationships.

After they were confronted with crime, Precilla and Kleinpiet eventually got married – in the desert. Now living happily on the farm outside Rolbos, they’ve adopted Nelson Kruiper.

Oudoom – a disillusioned pastor who settled in Rolbos for political reasons. Married to Mevrou, who forbids him to visit Boggel’s Place. His sermons are well attended when he preaches about love and hope. It once rained during one of his prayer meetings. Despite the weight of his occupation (and Mevrou’s moody greeting afterwards) he will sometimes sneak into Boggels for a quick pint. and

Precilla – the beautiful young pharmacist who fits into her Levi’s like no woman should. Her abusive youth left her with major issues with men, although she does blossom when the conversation is light and merry. Her love affair in high school ended badly.

Now married to Kleinpiet and mother to little Nelson, she feels her life is back on track.

Vrede –  the town’s dog. No less of a character than the rest. A policedog that rebelled against the way things get done in the force these days, and a dog of high morals.

Servaas – the local postmaster, who should have retired while de Klerk was still president. An enigmatic man with dark desires and an acid sense of justice. Deep into his seventies, he still is on the lookout for a good time. Stalks poor Precilla sometimes. As head elder, he sometimes dresses in his black suit to lecture the town on morals. and

Sammie – the local shopkeeper.An astute businessman who takes care of his customers. Still works ‘on the book’, and not in a hurry to be paid. A rare specimen, like the rest of the townsfolk.

Sersant Dreyer – who bends the rules occasionally by turning a blind eye.

Lucinda Verdana – the pretty Italian who settled in Rolbos with her father, old Marco. It is said they have a shady past, but Boggel doesn’t care. Lucinda is often seen with Boggel, leading to much speculation and gossip.

Judge Gericke – retired judge and father to a son he almost lost. He is convinced Gertruida is the cleverest woman on earth and has moved in to her study permanently, where he writes his memoirs.

Nelson Kruiper – son of a vagabond criminal and an alcoholic mother. His family roots are tied to the Kruipers, who insist on his learning of the San way of life. Now in the care of Kleinpiet and Precilla, he is growing up where two worlds meet. He tends to be naughty sometimes – something that bothers Precilla tremendously.

20 thoughts on “The Rolbos Factfile

  1. Son

    Kan jy vir my aanwysings gee na Rolbos toe? Ek dink ek wil daar gaan bly. Alles klink net soveel minder gekompliseerd daar 😉

  2. cathome36

    SJOE, Ek het ‘n paar maande verlof nodig om op datum te kom met hierdie blog en sy mense, maar doen gaan ek dit doen.

  3. brieweuitdievreemde

    Ek het nie besef jy beskryf ‘n denkbeeldige plek nie, want dit klink amper NET SOOS die dorpie waar ek (regtig) bly in die Groot Karoo 🙂

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  6. Joanne

    Ag please make this into a long running TV series. I love the characters and am looking forward to getting to know them better. Although they feel like family after reading just the brief descriptions! Great great writing.

  7. Nikita

    Jare terug was daar ‘n radio program oor plekname in SA en Grootdrink was een van die name! Ek onthou dit goed. Dan was daar Kleinzee ook wat op die program bespreek was. Ek het nooit daardie program gemis nie. Jy moet bietjie vir ons die plekke daar rondom jou blog. Dit klink lekker om daar te bly!

    1. Amos van der Merwe Post author

      Daardie deel van die Noord-Kaap lê my na aan die hart.Rolbos is ‘n besondere plek en die karakters wat daar bly het almal eienskappe van mense wat ek al ontmoet het. Alhoewel die dorpie suiwer fiksie is, bied dit ‘n veilige hawe vir enigiemand met ‘n kreatiewe verbeelding.. Welkom tuis, Nikita!

      1. Nikita

        En daar dink ek Rolbos is ‘n plek in SA! haha.. dit wys jou HOE goed jy skryf! Ek moet bysê, ek het nie als op jou blog gelees nie, die dat ek so gedink het! 🙂 Ek sal meermale hier moet kom lees! 🙂

  8. seegogga

    Die rolbossyories is so mooi! ‘n Boek of n tv rewks sal wonderlik weez. Daar is nog ‘n denkbeeldige dorpie in SA. Rebusfontein, waar dit altyd mooiweer is. Die Houe Vrou woonvdaar en hulle is altyd besig om allerlei avonture te beleef. As hulle nie net n giggegroen of ‘n pienk bus deur die land toer nie, vlueg hulle met ‘n vlieënde tent op n wereldreis. Hulle was ook al in die buitenste ruimte, af in n haasgat en tans is hulle op Rebus, besig om te beplan aan n boerepartytjie.


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