D.F. du Toit

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D.F. du Toit (1846–1923)[1] was a Paarl based language activist ("taalstryder" in Afrikaans), journalist, literary figure and amateur actor.

Also known as "Oom Lokomotief" (“Uncle Steam Engine”),

He is not to be confused with Doctor D.F. du Toit, a relation and also involved in the language struggle, though not in theatre as far is known.


Born Daniël Francois du Toit on 15 January 1846 on the farm Kleinbos in Daljosafat, he was the brother of language activist and playwright S.J. du Toit.

He became a founding member of Die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (“The Association of True Afrikaners”) and a leading figure in the Afrikaans language struggle. Founded and edited the journal Di Patriot (“The Patriot”) for 14 years.

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

He was one of the founding members of the rederijkerskamer Aurora I and directed and acted in the first plays put on by the company in Afrikaans (rather than Dutch). This was done in his house at Daljosafat near Paarl and later at Montagu (shortly after 1860). (The piece was De Jonge Kunstschilder, accompanied by an afterpiece).

In 1977 he was the subject of a documentary directed by Jan Perold, made by the National Film Board for the Department of National Education.

[TH, JH]



F.C.L. Bosman, 1928. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855. Pretoria: J.H. de Bussy. [2]: pp.

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

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