Writer in Residence Programme 2008

E.K.M. Dido is WIR in Amsterdam

1-31 December 2008

During her stay in Amsterdam as a writer in residence, E.K.M. Dido hopes to find archives that can tell her more about the route that was set out for African slaves being transported to Surinam. The main character in her new book finds out that her great grandmother was first brought to Paramaribo and then made her way back to South-Africa. With the arrival of Dido we hope to find out more about this interesting historical triangle between the Netherlands, South-America and Africa.

E.K.M. Dido (1951) is the first non-white writer of a novel in Afrikaans, but she is also known for her strong personality. Third child in a family of fourteen, it was with great determination that she managed to escape poverty and receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Wes-Kaapland. Dido now works as a teacher in nursing at the Netcare Training Academy in Bellville, her stay in Amsterdam is is a short time-off from this demanding job.

Writing her debut novel in 1996 Die storie van Monica Peeters about a brown girl that clearly takes a stand against Apartheid meant a real victory. Dido had accepted the “contaminated” Afrikaans as her mother tongue. Since this moment Dido has been writing novels inspired by social injustice without getting over moralistic. ‘n Ander ek, her fifth novel, is a bestseller in South-Africa. The book has been translated by Riet de Jong-Goossens and was published by Ailantus in autumn 2008.

For those of you who are fluent in Afrikaans, read here how Dido survived the cold and how back home she keeps defending the historical figure of Jan van Riebeeck, the so-called Ducth discoverer of South-Africa.

Jan van Riebeeck het in 1652 op Suid-Afrika se gronde voet neer gesit. Sy naam het in Middelburg in my gedagte gesluip toe ek voor huise staan wat vóór daardie jaar gebou is, en steeds bewoon word of in gebruik word. Arme Jan kry die skuld vir álle ewel. Natuurlik het hy nie Kaap de Goede Hoop ontdek nie.

On WednesdayDecember 10th, EKM Dido and Charlotte Mutsaers are invited by Judith Uyterlinde for a Women Inc. evening. Lust for life! - de taal als levenskracht en reddingsboei.

More information:

Fleur van Koppen


Fleur van Koppen

Programme officer

[email protected]