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Andre Trantraal

Image of Andre Trantraal

Andre Trantraal is an illustrator, writer, and translator who grew up in the townships of Mitchell’s Plain and Bishop Lavis in Cape Town. 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 jointly 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 jointly 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 graphic history titled Crossroads, which was published in serial format between 2010 and 2016 and as a single volume in 2021. 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, Cape Town.  A weekly cartoon strip that he wrote, "The Richenbaums," appeared in the Cape Times between 2010 and 2015. A cartoon strip, "Ruthie," about a black family living in apartheid-era South Africa, which he jointly illustrated, appeared between 2013 and 2014 in Rapport. Trantraal wrote and illustrated the Afrikaans children’s book series Keegan and Samier. The second book in the Keegan and Samier series, Die Sokker-fiasko, was awarded a Woordveertjie by the Afrikaanse Taal-en Kultuurvereniging in 2021 and is currently shortlisted for a South African Literary Award. Trantraal also translated the middle grade novel Ghost, by American author Jason Reynolds, into Kaaps; that translation, Spoekie, was shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Prize for Translation in the category Youth Texts in 2021. He edited the graphic history All Rise, written by Richard Conyngham, which was published in 2021; he also jointly illustrated a chapter of the book. 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 translation services for the feature film City of Violence, starring Forest Whitaker, which was filmed in Cape Town.

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