Seek With New Eyes – Session #6: History

OUR CRackerJack Speakers


Uncover how the bottom tip of Africa was claimed, tamed, and shaped –
by hunters, herders, slaves from the East, and immigrants from the North.
Unravel the centuries, from times past, the turbulent process of colonization by the Dutch for the first 150 years
followed by a century of British imperialism, the rigours of oppression under the Apartheid regime,
to the dawn of democracy and the triumph of the human spirit. 


Tracey has a passion for finding stories that reflect the multiple layering of human history on our South African landscape. Her PhD is exploring the central role that the process of curation and engagement with the archive and historical representation can play in heritage and transformation work.

She brings her passion to light in the most compelling way in a number of beguiling locations in the Cape winelands. On the Solms-Delta estate, she researched the socio-economic and cultural heritage of the farm and surrounding region, highlighting the often silent and marginalized voices in relation to dominant narratives that have had a role to play in making South Africa what it is today.

She conceptualized and designed its compelling Museum van de Caab, as well as its satellite exhibition ‘Music van de Caab’. To say nothing of totally revamping the Franschhoek Huguenot Memorial Museum. 

Tracey has worked on a number of historically significance reports for properties all over the Western Cape – where every piece of land has its own fascinating history. 
Often with a team with archaeologists, ecologists, heritage architects, and community leaders. Always making sure all people, especially from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, have access to history and are involved themselves in the structuring of their own heritage and identity discourses, is part of her personal and professional objective.

And her skills set includes researching family histories and geneaologies – particularly relevant because slave labour was such deeply entrenched part of the Cape’s early history.


Dean particular interests cover the British Empire and colonialism in South Africa as well as nationalism and national identities.

His long association with South Africa commenced with his academic research in the Sports Science field, which introduced him to the village of Matjiesfontein in the Karoo.
As well as a doctoral thesis, this resulted in an award-winning book Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa: Logan of Matjiesfontein. 

Since then, he’s been teaching at universities in South Africa, Australia, Northern Ireland and England, and had published widely in the areas of sports history and sociology.

He’s presents his unique blend of story-telling and history at events throughout the world, focusing on how world history has been shaped by sport. And lately, local vignettes on small town places with quirky characters and lesser known history.

Dean’s bond with the rich sporting culture, past and present, runs deep, and his CV includes speaking invitations to the House of Commons in London, as well as Twickenham, the home of the English Rugby Union.

This bond has drawn him to South Africans who have taught him that the power of determination, when channelled correctly, is immensely powerful.
His current engaging and motivational speaking role all over the world, frequently highlights the influence by Nelson Mandela – a leader who saw the value of sport in uniting people and healing the past – and who understood the power of humility.
Viva Invictus!



Elizabeth is an Honorary Research Associate in the History Department, University of Stellenbosch. In association with colleagues she has published a two-volume history: Cape Town. The Making of a City, and Cape Town in the Twentieth Century.

She is co-author of a book on the Cape medical profession The Cape Doctor in the Nineteenth Century. A Social History.
In addition to her book The Concentration Camps of the Anglo-Boer War: A Social History she has written a number of articles on the camps.

She edited the post-war letters of President M.T. Steyn and the papers of a 19th-century amateur geologist and scientist, Dr W.G. Atherstone.

Currently she is working on the papers of the three white women associated with the black Industrial and Commercial Workers Union [I.C.U.]

Elizabeth’s richly illustrated history of Cape Town under Dutch and British rule tells the story of its residents and the city they made – beginning in the seventeenth century with the tiny Dutch settlement, hemmed in by mountains and looking out to sea, and ending with the well-established British colonial city, poised confidently on the threshold of the twentieth century.

This social history of Cape Town under Dutch and British rule traces the changing character of the city and portrays the varied lives and experiences of its inhabitants black and white, rich and poor, slave and free, Christian and Muslim.