Andre Trantraal

Andre Trantraal, 41, is an illustrator, writer and translator. He grew up in the townships of Mitchell’s Plain and Bishop Lavis and is therefore intimately acquainted with the social conditions as well as the less newsworthy but equally as relevant ordinary human face of people who call these places home. Much of his work is written in Kaaps and he is a pioneer in recording, through cartoons, children’s books, comic book stories and translations, this particular language. His first published work was a continuity cartoon strip, which he wrote and partly illustrated, that appeared in the Cape Argus in 2003. His comic art has been exhibited in Hamburg and Amsterdam as well as in Cape Town. He wrote and partly illustrated a graphic novel, Drome Kom Altyd Andersom Uit, which appeared in 2008, as well as a comic book, Coloureds, that appeared in 2010. He adapted historian Koni Benson’s doctoral thesis on the history of women’s political struggles into a serialized graphic history titled Crossroads, which was first published between 2010 and 2016. He contributed artwork for an illustrated adaptation of a report by a commission, headed by Kate ‘O Regan and Vusi Pikoli, which was tasked with investigating police incompetence and brutality in Khayelitsha.  A weekly cartoon strip that he wrote, The Richenbaums, appeared in the Cape Times between 2010 and 2015. A second cartoon strip, titled Ruthie, about a black family living in apartheid-era South Africa, which he partly illustrated, ran for a year in Rapport. Trantraal is the author and illustrator of the Afrikaans children’s book series, Keegan and Samier. He also translated the middle grade novel Ghost, by American author Jason Reynolds, into Kaaps.  He has made artistic contributions to the Rock Girl project, an initiative concerned with the empowerment of girls of primary school age in disadvantaged communities. He also provided dialogue consultancy services to the film City of Violence, starring Forest Whitaker, which was filmed in Cape Town.