M.S. du Buson

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M.S. du Buson (1913?–1962) was a literary critic, cultural administrator and occasional actor.


Born Marthinus Stefanus du Buson in 1913(?), he was one of twelve children of Daniel du Buson and his wife, Magdel. He matriculated from the Middelburg High School in 1930 and did well in the annual Eisteddfods held in Brakpan. He was active in a range of cultural groups and was involved in organising the 1938 commemoration of the Great Trek and subsequently the celebrations surrounding the opening of the Voortrekker Monument. This would eventually lead to him becoming Secretary of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and Chairman of the Council of the South African Federation for Opera. In addition he wrote for the Tydskrif vir Letterkunde, contributed to symposiums, wrote textbooks on Afrikaans literature for schools, as well as studies such as Die Wonder van Afrikaans: Bydraes oor die Ontstaan en Groei van Afrikaans tot Volwaardige Wêreldtaal and Die Mens-Godverhousing in die Afrikaanse Poësie (both 1959).

He died in January, 1962.

Contribution to South African Theatre

Between 1932 and 1934 he seems to have spent some time at Die Vrystaatse Toneelskool run by Hendrik Hanekom and Mathilda Hanekom, and during the Voortrekker celebrations gave a much praised performance in Amrach die Tollenaar (1938). In 1944 he produced J.F.W. Grosskopf’s one-act play Die Peswolk for Brakpan’s Volksteater. In 1947 he was the "Player King" in Siegfried Mynhardt and Anna Neethling-Pohl’s Afrikaans production of Hamlet at His Majesty’s Theatre and in 1950 he was "Duncan" in Gwen ffrangçon-Davies's staging of an Afrikaans version of Macbeth for African Theatres.

In addition he wrote the play Daar's Bemindes in die Hemel, which was performed by Benn Potgieter and his company in the 1930s and published in 1944.

He also acted in two films, namely Unifilm’s screen version of Die Wildsboudjie (Arthur Bennett & Louis Knobel/1946) and a short about tuberculosis made for the Red Cross entitled Uit die Skaduwee na die Sonlig (1950).

Note: Throughout his career he never used any of his first names and round about 1950 he changed his surname from "du Buson" to "du Buisson".


Rand Daily Mail (various issues)

Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm (1982)

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