En djy, Willem Wikkelspies?

The Tsikinya-Chaka Centre (TCC) has embarked on a project to translate several of William Shakespeare’s works in a number of South Africa’s official – and unofficial – languages.

Speare-headed (couldn’t resist the pun) by Chris Thurman – president of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa, editor of the journal Shakespeare in Southern Africa, director of the TCC and Business Day columnist – the project is supported by our friends at Legacy Underwriting Managers.

The TCC is a Wits University research unit that focuses on translating Shakespeare’s works into African languages.

“The TCC is currently focusing on translating a number of works into Afrikaans and Kaaps, with three Afrikaans translations set to come out in 2022, and the beginnings of a workshop process to produce a new translation into Kaaps also set for next year,” says Chris. “This is in addition to the work we do at the centre to promote scholarship, teaching and performance that engages with Shakespeare as a multilingual phenomenon.”

The team at Legacy Underwriting Managers is enthusiastic about the work being done at the centre. Says Legacy CEO, Christo Crafford, “We are excited about Legacy’s involvement with and support of the Tsikinya-Chaka Centre, but especially about contributing to – and enhancing – the body of Shakespearean work in Afrikaans.

“While this will build resources for theatre makers, educators and students, we also look forward to how we can share it with our broker partners and their clients… the beauty and distraction of something both ‘out of the ordinary’ and extraordinary: everyone deserves a reprieve from the mundane and, currently, even more so than usual!”

As a past sponsor of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa, CN&CO has close ties with Chris, who is also a super person and a good friend. We particularly enjoyed the society’s innovative #lockdownshakespeare project in 2020, which saw a host of dramatists recording short scenes from various Shakespeare plays within their own personal lockdown spaces. There were some awesome outcomes. Check them out here.

Read a review of the #lockdownshakespeare project by Henry Bell in the Shakespeare Bulletin (Volume 38, Number 3, Fall 2020, pp. 523-527) published by Johns Hopkins University Press. You can also read more about the Afrikaans and Kaaps translations on Netwerk24: Shakespeare praat vlot Afrikaans en gou Kaaps. (You’ll need a News24 subscription to access the article.)

And stay tuned to the CN&CO blog and social media channels for more info on the wonderful work being done by Chris and the TCC team, as well as the good folks at Legacy.