Concept

Ingrid Jonker

Summary
Ingrid Jonker (19 September 1933 – 19 July 1965) (OIS), was a South African poet who wrote and one of the founders of modern Afrikaans literature. Her poems have been widely translated into other languages. During the 1950s and 1960s, which saw the Sharpeville massacre, the increasingly draconian enforcement of Apartheid laws, and escalating terrorism committed both by Government security forces and by the paramilitary wing of the African National Congress, Jonker chose to affiliate herself with Cape Town's racially mixed literary bohemia, which gathered around her fellow Afrikaner poet Uys Krige in the beach-side suburb of Clifton. In both her poems and in newspaper interviews, Jonker denounced the ruling National Party's racial policies and the increasing censorship of literature and the media. This brought her into open conflict with her father, a widely respected Member of Parliament for the ruling Party. By 1965, the lingering trauma of Jonker's early life, including a broken home and her father's political disputes against her and her sister, a failed marriage, and equally disastrous relationships with several different men, led to her depression and final suicide. Even so, Jonker has reached iconic status in post-Apartheid South Africa and is often compared with Sylvia Plath and Marilyn Monroe. On both sides of the family, the ancestors of Ingrid Jonker had lived in South Africa for centuries. Her forefather on her father's side, Adolph Jonker, was the son of a plantation owner from Macassar, in the Dutch East Indies, and had emigrated to the Cape Colony during the early 18th century. Adolph Jonker became the schoolteacher and warden of the Dutch Reformed congregation at Drakenstein. In 1740, he married Maria Petronella Langeveld, the daughter of Jacobus Langveld and an unknown woman from the Cape. Ingrid's father Abraham Jonker (1905–1966), was born on 22 April 1905 on the Kalkfontein farm, in the Boshoff district of the former Orange Free State. In 1910, Abraham lost his older sister to drowning.
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