Our Class 6 Afrikaans teacher Ester took us to the Slave Lodge in town, as we had started learning about colonies in the Cape and how the Dutch started bringing in slaves. When we got there we first stopped at the Company Gardens to have lunch and feed some squirrels. It started raining so we decided to leave and go start our tour at the Slave Lodge.
Once we got there we all piled into the foyer and was surrounded by the pictures of woman and all their stories of how they were mistreated and abused. It was pretty saddening to hear that they were treated in this way and that there was no one around to help.
We then moved on to the first room to view a model of the actual Slave Lodge and what it looked like in the 20th Century. It was this big rectangular building with a wide open court and a big well in the middle of it where slaves used to cook, gather water, roll-call and they kept animals such as pigs and chickens. When the guards did roll-call they did it at nine o’clock at night because if one of the slaves had escaped during the day they would be able to know, but if they escaped during the night or early morning they wouldn’t be able to go after them because of all the predators.
As for the slaves that had run away they would light fires to keep the predators away. If the guards did find the slaves that had run away they would of beaten them in the middle of the court with a whip in front of all the adult slaves to teach them a lesson on why they should never run away.
The second room we visited was a big map of the Slave Lodge were everything was such as the hospital, schools and much more. The third and final room however was a structure of the boats that they had to travel in, a very confined space with only one metre wide across and one metre in height. While we were in there, there was still a lot of space which we could probably have fitted about 30 more people in.
I’m sure that our class and all the teachers and parents would have learned a lot about Cape Town’s history and that the Slave Lodge is a historical landmark for future generations to experience.
Cooper McNicholl, Class 6 student