The Department of Afrikaans and Dutch student committee (formerly known as 'ASK' – Afrikaans Study Circle) is known as 'VER[r]AS' – the Society for Afrikaans Students. VER[r]AS is managed by a student committee and usually consists of undergraduate students with Afrikaans and Dutch as subject. Through the course of the year the committee organizes various events for fellow-students dealing with particular Afrikaans-related related, for instance Afrikaans film evenings, poetry evenings and even quiz and games evenings.
One of the VER[r]AS Committee's most important activities is compiling the annual student volume
Penseel is a volume with a long history in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch. It was founded by Fanie Olivier and Danie Botha in 1969/70 under protection of ASK. Since then the volume has seen publication nearly every year. Among those poets and writers who have had their work published in Penseel over the years are today well-known figures in the Afrikaans literary world – Zandra Bezuidenhout, Kerneels Breytenbach, Charles Fryer, Rachelle Greeff, Helena Gunter, Joan Hambidge, Daniel Hugo, André le Roux, Sonja Loots, Fanie Olivier, Alfred Schaffer, Etienne van Heerden and Marlene van Niekerk – to name but a few.
Penseel remains a student volume. All students at Stellenbosch University may submit their original Afrikaans poems or short short stories for possible publication in
Penseel. The entries are reviewed by a panel, with the best contributions being published. The volume's launch usually takes place in the fourth quarter, shortly before classes end for the year. Those young poets and writers whose work appears in the volume then get the opportunity of reading their poems or short stories to an audience.
For more information on the VER[r]AS committee or
Penseel, or for any enquiries, email
VER[r]AS, the student society of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, launched the 2021 edition of Penseel on Wednesday 2 March 2022. Twenty eight poets and short-story authors have been included in this volume. Selection for the 2021 edition was done by
Dr Amanda Marais,
Dr Alfred Schaffer and
Mr Marius Swart.
The 2021 editorial team – students who confess to being mad about reading and writing – described the process of putting the volume together as long and challenging, but also refreshing, satisfying and educational. And those who will still be on campus for the 2022 edition look forward to being part of the process once again.
The 2021 editorial team consisted of Maryna Adshade (editor), Charlton Andrew, Pippa Bester, Anouk Cronjé, Madeleine Kruger, Rentia Meyer, Karla van der Merwe (assistant editor) and Duné van Jaarsveld.
Penseel has an august history stretching back to 1969/1970 and an initiative by the then-unknown
Danie Botha and
Fanie Olivier. Since then, authors such as Joan Hambidge, Daniel Hugo, Loftus Marais and Marlene van Niekerk have all contributed. The 2021 and 2022 editions deserve their place in history because they appeared in and will be compiled during the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch's centenary.
The 2022 VER[r]AS committee
Duné van Jaarsveld
Cameron Jo Benjamin