The residents of Bo-Kaap are mostly descended from slaves who were imported to the Cape by the Dutch during the the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They reigned from Africa, Indonesia, Java Malaysia, and elsewhere in Asia. They were known as “Cape Malays”, which is an incorrect term as most of BoKaap’s residents are not entirely of Malaysian descent. There are still traces of Indonesian vocabulary in BoKaap’s dialect such as “trim-makaasi” thank-you and “kanalah” please! There are also many words which have also been substituted with Afrikaans.
The Dutch imported slaves who were political exiles, convicts, skilled craftsmen, artisans, famous scholars and religious leaders. Islam, who roots started in Saudi Arabia some 1400 years ago was brought to the Cape in the 1700’s.
Skill, Talents and Cuisines:
Skills and talents passed down from generation to generation accompanied these slaves. Not only skilled craftsman but superb cooks and cuisines blossomed. The Cape Malay Cuisine are not only delicious but unique and has played a huge role in South African dishes. The dishes are a combination of asian, arab and european which makes people view food in a different light.