Unisa Press

Tiyo Soga

A Literary History

Author: Joanne Ruth Davis
Published: June 29, 2018
ISBN: 9781868888283
Number of pages: 393
How to buy:

Once payment is received, your order will be processed and posted by registered mail to the address you have supplied. Choose one of the following options:

Banking details students:
Standard Bank, Sunnyside
Name of account: UNISA
Account Number: 011554622
Branch Code: 010645
Reference: Student number, leave a space and insert allocation number

Banking details non-students (all other clients)
Standard Bank, Sunnyside
Name of account: UNISA
Account Number: 011554622
Branch Code: 010645
Reference: 5400380438

A copy of the proof of payment and the address to mail the book to, can be e-mailed to unisa-press@unisa.ac.za

This book is not available in electronic format

About the book

Tiyo ‘Zisani’ Soga was a prominent yet little-studied 19th-century African intellectual. Born in 1831 in free Xhosa lands, the son of a counsellor to the Xhosa chief Ngqika, Soga completed his degree at the Andersonian Institute in Glasgow in 1854 and was ordained as a minister in the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland in 1856. He returned to the Eastern Cape with his Scots bride, Janet née Burnside, as an active minister, prolific writer, and translator.


Tiyo Soga: A Literary History offers a comprehensive study of Soga’s literary significance and his lasting relevance to African intellectualism, diaspora, and theological studies. Davis presents fresh scholarship on Soga’s literary works. Her meticulous research has unearthed previously lost writings including speeches, letters, and two grammatical treatises on the use of Xhosa in the translation of the Bible into Xhosa. In combination, these discoveries will contribute to reshaping South African literary history.


Davis explores the different representations of Soga in works by other scholars. She explains Soga’s pivotal role in the Xhosa Bible translation and offers innovative ways to read his writings. The volume incorporates a detailed list of appendices to facilitate further scholarship on Soga. Among these are facsimile copies of original documents, including university and baptism records, and the Soga family register.