A PORT Elizabeth author has painted a vivid picture of a unique chapter of the city’s history – the heartache but also the happiness – with his latest book on South End.
Yusuf Agherdien of Parkside – author of South End, Gone But Not Forgotten – was a teenager when his family was forcefully removed from South End.
Through his research and accessing the 1905 voters’ roll, he could trace his great-grandfather and from this, he constructed a family tree.
“It basically linked all the Agherdien, Jardien and Daniels [families] under Agherdien.”
His great-grandfather bought a property at 10 Armstrong Street in South End in 1881.
“The same house my grandfather, my father and I were born in.
“The house that we once lived in, is now gone but not forgotten.
“I have fond memories of playing in the streets with children from various race groups.
“We flew kites on the krans, played in Settlers Park and the Baakens River.
“We went fishing off the boats at the Dom Pedro Jetty.
“Those were the days. South End was so centrally situated that you could walk to the town’s centre, walk to the airport, the harbour or train station or even to the beach for a swim.
“With the removal of the people from South End, we also saw the demise of the centre of town,” Agherdien recalled.
It took him three years to do his research for his new book.
Later this year, Agherdien also plans to launch his third book, South End, Then and Now.
“South End, Then and Now is purely going to be a pictorial book. What it looked like and what it looks like now.”
He recalls how his passion for South End grew after his father, a tailor, asked an official from the Community Development Board – the arm of the National Party government of the day that expropriated their South End residence – where he and his family should move to.
“I make suits and do alterations for South End people and surrounding areas, for the main clothing shops in the centre of town.
“I must now move to Bethelsdorp where there are no facilities, shopping centres, schools, nothing.
“How do I make a living? Do I make a suit for my neighbour who is also a tailor?”
Agherdien managed to print his new book with assistance from NMMU. It is available at Fogarty’s Bookshop in Walmer Park Shopping Centre or from Agherdien on e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org