Michiel Hendrik Nesser
1874 - 1932


First Afrikaans Novelist

Michiel Hendrik Nesser was born on 28 July 1874 in Lusaskop, Philipstown. He received informal teaching from his father. Nesser was a great reader and his favourite authors were Sir Walter Scott and Jacob van Lennep. Having been inspired by these authors he began writing verse, and some appeared in “Ons Klyntji”. S.J. du Toit invited Nesser to join the editorial team of “Ons Klyntji” and “Die Patriot” in 1899. Unfortunately political differences with Du Toit led him to quit his position and he returned to the Karoo, where he started farming. As the Afrikaans language movement grew he realised that his type of story and verse, which were comic and sentimental were losing touch with the readers. His farming was not doing well and felt that those he worked and lived with had forgotten him. Nesser died a broken and forgotten man on 22 July 1932 in Griqualand West

Potgieter, D.J. (ed)(1973). Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa Vol. 8 , Cape Town: Nasou, p. 173.