About this artwork

John Mokoteri and Sarah Roby were the adopted children of Robert Moffat and his wife, Mary. They were taken in by the Moffats in Kuraman, South Africa where Robert was working for the London Missionary Society. According to contemporary sources, Mokoteri had been previously enslaved, and Roby was saved from infanticide. Although adopted, they ended up holding positions of servitude for the Moffats with Roby acting as a maid to Mary, while Robert toured Mokoteri around the UK as evidence of the apparent success of his mission’s ‘civilising' efforts. Moffat’s missionary work in Africa included writing the first translation of the Bible into Setswana, the language of Kuruman. The translation was reliant on the work of many Tswana people in Kuruman, including Mokoteri, who were uncredited.

William Wallace Scott

William Wallace Scott