'It's alive and well': Steve Hofmeyr responds to Charlize Theron calling Afrikaans ‘a dying language’

17 November 2022 - 10:12
By Kyle Zeeman
Controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr has reacted to Charlize Theron's comment that Afrikaans is 'not a very helpful language'.
Image: Gallo Images/Netwerk 24/Deaan Vivier Controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr has reacted to Charlize Theron's comment that Afrikaans is 'not a very helpful language'.

Popular Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr has responded to Charlize Theron’s claim that Afrikaans is a “dying” and unhelpful language.

The SA-born Hollywood star got tongues wagging this week when she joked on the SmartLess podcast that “there's about 44 people still speaking” Afrikaans and called it “a dying language”.

“It’s not a very helpful language,” she added.

Steve has been outspoken on issues affecting the Afrikaans community, and speaking to TshisaLIVE, he rubbished Theron’s claim.

“If it managed the first heart transplant it’s a useful enough language for me. Afrikaans is a marginalised language which is alive and well, regardless,” he said.

South African cardiac surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant operation at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on December 3 1967.

Steve claimed the Afrikaans community’s “last university has just been wrenched from us and still we find ways to produce admirable tertiary education”, while also joking that the language has “the most popular expletives on the continent!”.

Speaking about her home language during the podcast, Theron said she didn’t speak English until she was about 19 and only focused on learning the language when she left home for the US.

“I had it as a second language but nobody in my neighbourhood spoke English. I went to ballet at the Royal Academy of London and we had these teachers from London who couldn’t speak Afrikaans. That was the only English I really heard. I would do exams not really even knowing I was doing exams because I didn’t understand what they were saying.”

She said this allowed her to lose her South African accent quicker.

“That’s why it was easy for me to drop the [South African] accent because I was really learning English from scratch.”