Dintshontsho tsa bo-Juliuse Kesara

  • Publication Date: Oct 2021
  • Dimensions and Pages: 190 x 120mm Extent: 54pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-77614-061-9
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-77614-539-3
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-77614-109-8
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 180.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 20

A translation based on William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
With an introduction by Sabata-mpho Mokae


Dintshontsho tsa bo-Juliuse Kesara is a translation into Setswana of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, by the renowned South African thinker, writer and linguist Sol T. Plaatje, who was also a gifted stage actor. Plaatje first encountered the works of Shakespeare when he saw a performance of Hamlet as a young man; it ignited a great love in him for the works of the Elizabethan dramatist. Many years later he translated several of Shakespeare’s plays into Setswana in a series called Mabolelo a ga Tsikinya-Chaka (‘The Sayings of Shakespeare’.) Dintshontsho tsa bo-Juliuse Kesara went to print five years after Plaatje’s death, in 1937, published in the Bantu (later, African) Treasury Series by the University of the Witwatersrand Press.

His translations of Shakespeare’s plays into Setswana helped to pioneer and popularise a genre, the drama script, that was previously not well known in Southern
Africa. It also showcased the rich range of Setswana vocabulary and served Plaatje’s aim of developing the language.

His stature as an extraordinary thinker and writer justifies the re-issue of this classic for new generations of readers and performers to enjoy.
Dintshontsho tsa bo-Juliuse Kesara is part of Wits University Press’ African Treasury Series.

African Treasury Series
The African Treasury Series, published from the 1940s onwards, consists of texts written
by pioneers of South African literature in African languages. It provided a voice for the
voiceless and celebrated African culture, history and heritage. The re-issue of these
foundational texts with new introductions supports ongoing efforts to highlight the
importance of writing in indigenous languages, and to remember and celebrate these
early giants of African literature. The African Treasury Series is now available in ebook
and print formats.

Key words: Shakespeare, Julius Ceasar; theatre; play text; play script.

Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje (1876-1932) was a journalist, linguist, politician, translator and writer of novels and historical works, and founder member and first general secretary of the South African Native National Congress, which was renamed the African National Congress in 1923.

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