Book celebrates EC icon Tiyo Soga

The life and history of South African historian and Xhosa writer Tiyo Soga will be celebrated at the Steve Biko Arts Centre this evening, where United Kingdom based author, Joanne Davis launches her book, Tiyo Soga: A Literary History.

Tiyo Soga
Tiyo Soga

The book explores Soga's life and the role he played in the translation of the bible to IsiXhosa, including his contribution and role in the religion of Christianity.

Soga, was born in Tyume near Butterworth in 1829 and was the most famous pupil of the Lovedale missionaries and even went on a visit to Scotland in 1857 where became the first black South African to be ordained in an established church.

Steve Biko Foundation programme coordinator Kholosa Tshandana said they were expecting a lot of people to attend the free event because of the rich history and prominence of Soga.

“The book offers a comprehensive study of Soga’s literary significance and his lasting relevance to African intellectualism, diaspora and theological studies. Davis presents fresh scholarship on Soga’s literary works. Her meticulous research has unearthed previously lost writings including speeches, letters and two grammatical treaties on the use of Xhosa in the translation of the bible into Xhosa. In combination these discoveries will contribute to reshaping South African literary history,” she said.

The book launch will take place tonight at the centre at 6pm.

mbalit@dispatch.co.za

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