Professor Catherine du Toit holds a degree from the University of Nantes and is a Doctor Litterarum et philosophiae in French from the University of Pretoria. She is currently heading the Department of Modern Foreign Languages of the University of Stellenbosch, after years of providing training in the French language for South African diplomats of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

In February 2016 she was one of six South Africans to be honoured by H.E. French Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier with the medallion of the Order of Arts & Literature. The order, established in 1957 by the French Minister of Culture, rewards those who, through their ongoing engagement and creativity, have helped develop the arts and culture in France and throughout the world, building bridges between our nations.

For the 2016 festival Catherine facilitated a series of translations of participating poets’ work into Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa.