J M Ntsime biography


Joseph Motlhasedi Ntsime (born September 30, 1930), well-known as J M Ntsime, was a veteran South African poet and teacher. He authored many books in Setswana and promoted the language in any way he could.

J M Ntsime wroke books like Lerato ke eng Se se jeleng rraPelo e ja seratiKobo E ntshoMatlhotlhapeloMatlhasedi amongst many others.

J M Ntsime
J M Ntsime biography
Joseph Motlhasedi Ntsime, well-known as J M Ntsime, was a veteran writer and poet.
Quick Facts
Full Name:Joseph Motlhasedi Ntsime
Other Names:J M Ntsime
Born:September 30, 1930
Place of Birth:Ramatshabalomao, North West
Died:April 26, 2020 (age 89 years)
Burial site:Joseph Moruleng outside Rustenburg, North West
Education:Setswana and Psychology
Alma mater:University of South Africa
Occupation:Poet, teacher, writer

Early Life

Joseph Motlhasedi Ntsime was born on September 30, 1930, in Ramatshabalomao village, Bojanala, North West, South Africa. 

He came from a multi-child family with eleven children. Ntsime was the tenth child of his parents and had nine older siblings and a younger sibling.


J M Ntsime obtained a BA degree from the University of South Arica, majoring in Setswana and Psychology.


Joseph was a teacher and poet. He was the first Motswana to provide editorial leadership in the early sixties. The local magazine, Utlwang, covered news, articles, and current affairs.

Motlhasedi was a committed teacher and promoted Setswana through the space his career provided. His passion and dedication to his work earned him recognition. 

In 1964, he was an examiner and moderator of the Setswana school examination papers. Joseph served in many communities like:

  • Setswana Language Committee of the department of education
  • Setswana Language Committee of the then Radio Bantu.

J M Ntsime played a vital role in establishing the Language Service Section in the Department of Education and Training in 1969. He involved helped to translate many government documents.

Later, he became the Director in the same department. Ntsime also worked as the Editor-in-Chief of the Setswana dictionary at the Institute of African Studies, University of Bophuthatswana.

Joseph mentored and empowered many of his contemporaries. He was a co-contributor to the development of Setswana radio programs. 

As an author, Joseph had publications covering general science, religious instruction, and language. He also published Setswana short stories, folklore tales, and poetry.

Personal Life


J M Ntsime was a family man, a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He had seven children, nine grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.

Cause of Death

J M Ntsime cause of death
Joseph Motlhasedi Ntsime, well-known as J M Ntsime, was laid to rest in Moruleng Village.

The veteran poet J M Ntsime was buried at Legkraal cemetery in Moruleng outside Rustenburg, North West. He died peacefully at his home in Moruleng, surrounded by his family.

Ntsime served in the church by holding several leadership positions. He loved to write and read and was very religious. He was a non-smoker and non-alcohol.


Many of J M Ntsime’s publications received several awards and recognitions. Among others, he received the Sol Plaatjie Literature Award in the 1980s.

Joseph received the National Award Winner for the Outstanding Author in Setswana Literature 2005 from the Department of Arts and Culture 2005.

In 2008, the South African language Board awarded him Multilingualism and Nation Building Author of the Decade in Setswana.

Setswana National Language Body (PANSALB) recognized him as the prolific Author in Setswana in 2008.


  • Lerato ke eng? (1983)
  • Matlhotlhapelo (1976)
  • Tswina (1987)
  • Mafoko a mafatshwa (1986)
  • Maabanyane (1989)
  • Ke mo opile mpa (1987)
  • Practical Tswana: Vocabulary and Phrases (1994)
  • Kobo e ntsho (1968)
  • Segaetsho (1987)