Mikro

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Mikro is the pen name of Christoffel Hermanus Kühn (1903–1968), who was a South African author and poet.

Biography

The writer was born on Van Reenens Farm, in the district of Williston, on 8th October 1903. His longing and love for his birthplace and surroundings runs like a silver thread through many of his books i,e. "Waar die Bokmakierie fluit".

He received this nickname, Mikro, at the campus of the University of Stellenbosch after his excuse for coming late was that he mislaid his mikroflea. He was summarily asked to leave the lecture hall. The nickname stuck and later he used it as a pseudonyme for the hundred books written by him.

He was married twice and his eldest daughter is the well-known author Corlia Fourie.

He held a BSc degree in agriculture and a Teacher Diploma. He was head teacher at Kuilsrivier school and lecturer at the Oudtshoorn Training College. After teaching he worked for Boerdery in Suid-Afrika (a farmers' magazine) as chief editor from 1956 till 1960 and thereafter became chief leader for the Farmers Movement (Landdiensbeweging) for the Agricultural Ministry from which he resigned in 1964.

His more than a 100 books and novels covered a wide range, from some of the first works dealing with the "coloured" people of South Africa (e.g "Toiings" - ie "Rags" in 1934) to Boer War adventures (e.g the hugely popular Ruiter in die Nag and - also translated into English as **) and detective stories (e.g Kompartement **D.) The latter were both filmed.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

His novels Gonnakolk and Soetwater were adapted for the theatre by P.G. du Plessis under the title Mattewis en Meraai (1970) and was later filmed as a TV series.

His adventure stories from the Anglo Boer war were extremely popular, especially "Ruiter in die nag" which was made into a film.

From 1930 to 1931 he wrote poems for the magazine Huisgenoot and published biographies, novels and adventure stories. Between 1944 and 1949 he developed into a fulltime writer.

Plays

Die Grootste Genot (1931)

Net Een Dag, of, Die Vakansiegangers (1936)

Elke Huis het sy Kruis (radio) (1946)

Die Dae van Ons Jare (1956)

Die Rooi Lêer (1961)

T in die Blou Kamer (1963)

Twee Goue Beddens (1963)

Films

Two of his literary works were made into Afrikaans feature films:

Moord in Kompartement 1001E (1961)

Die Ruiter in die Nag (1963)

Awards, etc.

He was awarded the Hertzog Prize for Prose 1936 for Toiings and Pelgrims; W A Hofmeyr Prize 1956 for Die Porseleinkat; Scheepers Prize for youth literature 1957 for Die Jongste Ruiter and National Publishers Award 1961.

Sources

SA History Online [1]

Stellenbosch Writers [2]

Wikipedia [3]

Afrikaans Wikipedia [4]

Wallis, F. 2000 Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.

http://www.karoohoogland.co.za/Willistonpages/mikro.htm

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