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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

On-line version ISSN 2309-9070
Print version ISSN 0041-476X


KROG, Antjie  and  MAGONA, Sindiwe. Mqhayi's chapter and verse: Kees van die Kalahari becoming u-Adonisi wasentlango. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2015, vol.52, n.1, pp.5-17. ISSN 2309-9070.

Xhosa's best and most well-known imbongi and poet, S. E. K. Mqhayi, once translated an Afrikaans book Kees van die Kalahari into Xhosa-a story about the trials and tribulations of a leader baboon and his tribe. The Xhosa translation had been prescribed for generations of pupils and became one of the language's most well-known texts. As part of a larger project which will compare the two texts in their totality, this essay is a preliminary exercise to determine the history of the translated text and more specifically to explore what Mqhayi's possible translation strategies could have been which rendered the book so 'home-grown'. According to Sindiwe Magona, 'It was prescribed to me in high school and I taught it, but neither I, nor my colleagues, realised that it was a translation. And even now, there is no feeling that behind this text there is another one, it feels so authentic!' There are in fact two other texts: the original English text which spawned the well-known Afrikaans book Kees van die Kalahari, written/translated by the brothers S. B. and G. C. Hobson. The Afrikaans text won the coveted Afrikaans Hertzog Prize for prose and was reprinted 33 times.

Keywords : S. B. and G. C. Hobson; S. E. K. Mqhayi; translation strategy; translation.

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