Dr JT van der Kemp, controversial missionary and physician, dies

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Dr Johannes van der KempDr Johannes van der Kemp. Source: https://debuys.blogspot.com/2011/02/dr-johannes

Sunday, 15 December 1811

Dutch missionary Johannes Theodorus van der Kemp was the first missionary to work among the Xhosa. He became involved with the Khoi Khoi of the Cape Colony and was interested in alleviating their economic plight. His advocacy for the Khoi Khoi to have equal opportunities with White people saw him fall out of favour with the White settlers.

Van der Kemp had a rich background in philology (the study of language) which helped him master the Xhosa and Khoi Khoi languages. Not dissuaded by the disapproval received from Whites, he laboured among the Xhosa and the Khoi Khoi and went on to marry a non-White woman; a decision that was viewed as partly out of principle. He died in Cape Town In 1811.

References:
• Lipschutz, M.R. and Rasmussen, R.K. (1986). ‘Van Der Kemp, Johannes Theodorus
• 1747 to 1811 Congregational South Africa’ from Dictionary of African Christian Biograpy [online]. Available at www.dacb.org [Accessed 17 December 2011]
• De Buys Genealogy (2010). Dr Johannes Theodorus Van Der Kempfrom De Buys Genealogy [online]. Available at https://debuys.blogspot.com [Accessed 17 December 2011]

Last updated : 08-Dec-2011

This article was produced by South African History Online on 23-Nov-2011

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