Wilhelmina Johanna (Wilma) Stockenström, SA author, poet and actress is born

Wilma StockenströmWilma Stockenström

Date: 7 August, 1933

Wilma Stockenstrom, seen as one of the most important women writers in Afrikaans, wrote in her native language, but some of her work has been translated into other languages. Having studied Drama at Stellenbosch University, she initially focused on drama and playwright before she went into poetry and fiction. She wrote a few plays and appeared in some theatre productions, but it was only when her first book of poetry, Vir die bysiende leser (aptly named because of the use of large font) was published in 1970 that she was taken seriously as a writer. Her poetry was praised for its originality and unconventional use of language.

Wilma showcased her acting talent in television shows such as Mannakwalanners

and Die Besoeker  for which she was awarded the Rapport-Oscar for her performance. Wilma has contributed extensively to Afrikaans writing overall, but it is mainly for her poetry that she is considered an important figure in Afrikaans writing.

Originally from Napier in the Cape, she spent most of her working life in Pretoria, where she worked as a translator. It is also while she was staying and working in Pretoria that she married her husband Ants Kirsipuu. In 1993 Wilma moved back to her home town of Cape Town where she now still resides. She unfortunately lost her husband in 2003.