Abjater Wat So Lag

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Abjater Wat So Lag is an award-winning Afrikaans novel by Wilma Stockenström.

Usually written Abjater wat so lag in Afrikaans

The original text

Basically a lyrical monologue, a stream of consciousness recollection of her life by an uneducated and unidentified white spinster, retailing her life as domestic worker in the early 20th century, working alongside people of colour in the houses of rich white families. She initially served as nanny, but later became a carer for the ill and dying, giving her rare insights into the intricacies of life and death.

The critically acclaimed book was first published as Abjater wat so lag by Human & Rousseau, Cape Town, in 1991, and won the Hertzog Prize for Prose in 1992.

Translations and adaptations

Adapted for the stage in Flemish-Dutch mixed with Afrikaans by Tone Brulin in 1994, first performed in October at the Bourlaschouwburg in Antwerp.

An Afrikaans adaptation for the stage was done by Juanita Swanepoel in 2005.

Performance history in South Africa

1995. Brulin's adaptation was presented by Die Koninklijke Nederlandse Schouwburg during the National Arts Festival, designed and directed by Tone Brulin.

2005: Juanita Swanepoel directed her adaptation at the KKNK, starring Elizabeth de Villiers.


National Arts Festival programme, 1995. 52.


Die Burger, 30 March 2005.

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