Tribute to ||Garuxab Toppies Kruiper

As a tribute, we wish to share with you this tribute and remembrance of him by Dr. Nigel Crawhall, Director of Secretariat, IPACC. 

Delme Cupido's picture

Author

Senior Programme Officer: Indigenous Peoples Rights

July 16th, 2015
The Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Programme is today saddened to hear of the death of ||Garuxab Toppies Kruiper. He will be remembered by his many friends and family from around Southern Africa, and by indigenous peoples from all over the world, as a husband, a father, master tracker and a teacher who shared the knowledge of his ancestors with younger generations. As a tribute, we wish to share with you this tribute and remembrance of him by Dr. Nigel Crawhall, Director of Secretariat, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC). 
 
Author: Dr. Nigel Crawhall
 
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the untimely death of ||Garuxab Toppies Kruiper, the eldest son of Dawid Kruiper. Toppies was a brilliant tracker and traditional man of the ‡Khomani people. He lost his wife in a tragic car accident in the early 1990s during the land claim. He struggled with depression, alcohol and his own will to live; he survived, got his tracking certification, fell in love with the wonderful Tiena and restarted his life.
 
We travelled to Tanzania together for him to work with Hadzabe hunter-gatherers in the Yaeda Valley, we later hosted them back in the southern Kalahari Desert. He was fascinated by their hunting techniques and medicinal knowledge. He bought a panga in the market and found a grinding stone for his grandmother and brought both back home in his hand luggage.
 
Life threw many difficult things at him, but he survived - poverty, dispossession, the brutality of apartheid racism, exile from the Kalahari, the death of his wife and, the violence in the community. But he survived; he was a healing dancer, a medicine maker, an artist, a tracker, a hunter, a conservationist and a good husband - a man with a smile that would light up your heart. A man who knew the secrets of his ancestors and the Kalahari Desert. 
Hai hai hai. !aî se !gû, ou Toppies.   
 

About the author(s)

Delme is the Indigenous Peoples Rights Senior Programme Officer. Delme was the APM in OSISA’s HIV programme from 2006-2010. Prior to joining OSISA, he was the Coordinator of the AIDS Law Unit of the Legal Assistance Centre, a public interest law centre based in Namibia. Delme was active in the international HIV Treatment Access movement, was a founding trustee of the AIDS Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, a founding member of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, the Pan African Treatment Access Movement and the Collaborative Fund for HIV. Delme holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cape Town, and obtained a bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of the Western Cape.

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