Homer’s Iliad translated into ‘South African’

Updated 13 November 2012
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Homer’s Iliad translated into ‘South African’

JOHANNESBURG: As Homer noted, the Trojans love nothing better than a good braai after fending off Achilles and his horde of assegai-wielding Greek impi. Well, that is according to one retired classics professor who has spent more than 10 years putting Homer’s epic poem about the Trojan war into a South African context.
Richard Whitaker says he embarked on the odyssey after coming to the conclusion that existing Eurocentric translations did not resonate with South African students. “I came to feel that, on the one hand, ‘kings’, ‘princes’, ‘palaces’ and the like were remote from local experience,” he said.
“On the other hand, there were many elements of the Homeric world, such as payment of bride-price in cattle, and warriors’ winning praises in combat, that might resonate with South Africans.” And with that, Troy was transported to the Highveld, commanders become amakhosi, spears became assegai and glens became a kloof.
But Whitaker does acknowledge his project’s Achilles heel: Not every South African is familiar with the English, Afrikaans, Portuguese, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Tswana words that color South African speech.


Rats break into ATM, munch through $18,000 in cash

Updated 21 June 2018
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Rats break into ATM, munch through $18,000 in cash

  • The rodent heist in Assam state was only detected by bank officials after locals complained that the ATM was faulty and had stopped dispensing cash.
  • The rats munched through an estimated 1.2 million rupees ($18,000) worth of hard currency.

NEW DELHI: Indian police on Thursday said rats nibbled through more than a million rupees of banknotes after busting into a cash machine in the country’s northeast.
The rodent heist in Assam state was only detected by bank officials after locals complained that the ATM was faulty and had stopped dispensing cash, police in Tinkusia district told AFP.
“The bank officials came to check the ATM machine last week and found a dead rat and shredded banknotes when it was opened,” said district police superintendent MugdHajjyoti Dev Mahanta.
“We’ve checked and there is no other criminal or conspiracy to angle to the incident. It looks like the rats entered the machine through a small opening for some wires,” he told AFP.
The rats munched through an estimated 1.2 million rupees ($18,000) worth of hard currency, local media reported. Images showed an upended ATM filled with torn and shredded 500 and 2000 rupee bills.