2012 Speakers

2012 Key Note Speakers

Prof. Andries Walter Oliphant


 “The Roles of Literary Journals in African Struggles for Cultural and Political Liberation”.

Andries Walter Oliphant is a literary scholar and cultural policy advisor. He chaired the Ministerial Arts and Culture Task Team and co-wrote the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage. He chaired the Arts Culture Trust from 1995 to 2007.

He is co-editor of the Journal of Literary Studies and Deputy Editor of the English Academy Review.  He serves on the editorial boards of Alternation: Interdisciplinary Journal of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa, Scrutiny 2: Issues English Studies in Southern Africa and De Arte.  He is Founding Editor of Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing.

His writings on South African literature, art and photography are published locally and internationally. He is the recipient of the Thomas Pringle Award for Short Stories and the Book Journalist of the Year Award.

He was Special International Guest of the Nobel Prize Awards held in Stockholm in 1998 and a participant in the First White House Seminar on Culture and Diplomacy hosted by President Bill Clinton in 2000. He chairs the Council of Ditsong: Museums of South Africa and serves on the Council of the National English Literary Museum.

He heads the Division Theory of Literature at the University of South Africa. He is a Research Fellow at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, commissioned by the Department of Arts and Culture to draft a National Strategy on Social Cohesion and Nation Building.

He is serving as an adjudicator on the South African Literary Awards Adjudication Panel since 2010.

Dr. Okello Oculi

A graduate of Makerere University College of the University of East Africa & Stanford University as Exchange Scholar(BA); Essex University (MA), and University of Wisconsin, Madison (PhD) in Political Science.

 Editor-in-Chief of Kilimanjaro, a magazine that is a companion to the AFRICAN OF THE YEAR prize awarded annually to an individual nominated for an extraordinary achievement that brings benefit to large numbers of people. The award is sponsored by Media Trust Limited, publishers of the Daily Trust group of newspapers published in English and Hausa languages.(2008- 2012)

  • Member of the Selection Committee of the African of the Year prize (2008-2012)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Daily Trust (2002 –2012)
  • Executive Director of Africa Vision 525 Initiative (2007-2012)
  • Main Editor of BRAIN RAIN Books series. The series is anchored on soliciting scholarly material from among Africans in the Diaspora and “Africanists” and publishing them locally to ameliorate a severe book famine in Nigerian and other African Universities since the mid-1980s. Volume 1 has contributions by Professors Ali A. Mazrui, Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, Toyin Falola, Crawford Young, Peter Anyang Nyongo, and others. Volume 2 has papers by Professors Kenneth Prewitt, Mahmood Mamdani, Edmond Keller, KC Morrison, and others.
  • Member of the Technical Advisory Group of the Book Development Project of the Education Trust Fund/ Tertiary Education Trust Fund, an agency of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education.


 Jobs held

  • Policy Assistant to the Minister of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Federal Republic of Nigeria (1995- 1997)
  • Associate Research Professor, Centre for Social and Economic Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1992- 1996)
  • Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1977-1990)
  • Tutorial Fellow, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Makerere University (1968-1972)


Projects Initiated and Directed

  • Mock-OAU Summits: dramatized simulations of summit conferences of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) by undergraduate students at Ahmadu Bello University (1978- 1990)
  • Dramatized Simulation of summits and Peer Review sessions of the African Union by secondary school students trained at Command Day Secondary School, Lungi Barracks; Anglican Girls Grammar School ( in Abuja) and Makini Secondary School (in Nairobi, Kenya) 2004 to 2012 (with short gap following the 2007/2008 post-election violence in Kenya.
  • Amina Forum, a leadership training project for female undergraduate students at Ahmadu Bello University



  • Discourses in African Affairs, Africa World Press, Trenton (2000)-
  • Song for the Sun in Us, East African Educational Publishers, Nairobi (2000)
  • Co-editor, Brain Gain: Discourses in Governance for Africa’s Renaissance, printed by Ahmadu Bello University Press (2008)
  • Co-editor, Power and Politics, Ibadan (2012)
  • Co-editor, Creativity in Governance, (forthcoming)
  • Food and the African Revolution, New Dimension Publishers, Zaria (1988)
  • A Political Economy of Malnutrition, Ahmadu Bello University Press, Zaria (1986)
  • Kookolem, Kenya Literature Bureau, Nairobi, 1976
  • Malak, East African Publishing House, Nairobi, 1976
  • Prostitute, East African Publishing House, Nairobi, 1968
  • Orphan, East African Publishing House, Nairobi, 1967


Newspaper columnist – at different periods)

  • The Guardian on Sunday, Lagos, Nigeria
  • The Sunday New Nigerian, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • Today, Kaduna, Nigeria
  • Daily Trust, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya
  • The People. Kampala, Uganda



  • Bellagio Rockefeller Conference Centre (1987)
  • Commonwealth Scholar (1967/68)
  • Rockefeller Foundation Scholar ( 1972-`877)


Dr. Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi

University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.

“Crotical Mediation and Achebe’s Outcasts”

Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi is assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. His research focuses on the circulation of narrative genres among Caribbean, African, and British writers. He is particularly interested in forms of the novel, auto/biography, and speculative narratives.  He has secondary interests in science fiction film and sexuality studies.  These interests are combined in two book projects entitled: Provincializing Slavery: Atlantic Economies of the African Novel and Marriage, Law, and Atlantic Rationalities.

In the first, he interrogates assertions that African writers have been silent about the Atlantic slave trade and suggests that African writers have always had to re-route their engagement with Atlantic and domestic African slaveries through the encounter with  colonialism and anti-colonialism.  In the second project, he is interested in how writers and filmmakers represent figures who did not embrace dominant visions of resistance during the colonial era.  He examines such figures and suggests that their visions of emancipation can be useful mediations of resistance.

He has published in journals such as Research in African Literatures; Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies; African Identities; Mosaic and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East.


Prof. Ntombizodwa Motsa

Chairperson of SALA Advisory Board

 “Journeying Back 50 Years”: Reflections on Agit-Prop and Guerrilla Theatre as Wole Soyinka’s Dramaturgy for Liberation in Africa.

 A Full Professor in English, Ntombizodwa Motsa is a Fulbright Scholar, a Researcher, Writer and Social Engineer. She has served as Head of the Department English Studies (UNISA) from 2006 -2011. At present she is the Regional Director at UNISA Ethiopia Regional Learning Centre Addis Ababa. Her research interests are: Post-war Drama, Wole Soyinka / the Angry Young Men; the Victorian Novel; the English Renaissance; African Oral Lore; the Diaspora and Leadership in Africa.

2012 Speakers

Ms Faith Ben-Daniels

“The Global Stage for Humanity and the African Disposition: A Case Study of Efo Kodjo Mawugbe’s Upstairs and Downstairs”.

Faith Ben-Daniels is currently a lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba. She is based at the Kumasi Campus of the University which is the College of Technology Education. Currently, the University of Education, Winneba, runs four campuses: Adjumako, Manpong, Kumasi and Winneba.

Miss Daniels holds a Master of Philosophy in English from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts and English from the University of Ghana, and a Diploma in Education from the University of Education, Winneba. At present, she is pursuing a PHD in English from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Her area of research interest is into new forms in African drama and the African art of storytelling, and its contribution in creating an indigenous African theatre of the storyteller.


Dr. Wangui wa Goro

“Language and Power: Translation, Adaptation and Archiving”

Wangui wa Goro is a researcher, translator, writer and a human rights campaigner. She has been involved in rights for race, gender equality and democracy for over twenty years. She is also a pioneer in translation of African literature and was on the International Advisory Committee for the Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora based at the University of Florida. She is currently an Associate Fellow of the Institute of Human Rights and Social Justice at London Metropolitan University, the President of Translation Caucus of the ALA and also the President of ALTRAS (African Literary Translators and Sub-titlers Association).


Mr. F-K Omoregie

University of Botswana

“Women and Self-Subordination in Unity Dow’s Far and Beyon”.

F-K Omoregie is a lecturer of drama and literature at the University of Botswana (UB). Omoregie was instrumental in establishing a Department of Theater Arts at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program at the University of Botswana (UB). While at UZ he chaired the Department of Theater Arts. Omoregie has written and directed numerous plays for the stage such as, Omen, Phobia, Newsroom, Requiem, etc. He has also directed several series for TV such as Flat 101, Lasaro and Definitions. He is the author of Stagecraft – a book on the technical aspects of staging plays, and two volumes of plays, Collected Play 1 and Collected Plays 2, his latest book The Urge (a collection of short stories) is currently in print.


Dr. Lere Adeyemi

University of Ilorin, Nigeria

“The Figure of the Child in African Literature: Yorùbá Literature as Example”.

Lérè Adéyẹmí (Ph.D.) teaches Yorùbá Literature and Culture in the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He obtained his first, second and Ph.D. degrees from the same University between 1988 and 2003. His area of specialization are Yoruba Literature and Culture.  He was head of his Department 2005 to 2006, and 2008 to July 2009. He has published scholarly articles and textbooks in the area of Yoruba studies. Adéyẹmí  is also a published creative writer. His most recent novel is entitled Kọ́rọ̀ Tó Dayọ̀ 2011 (Before the dawn of Joy ).His other creative works are:Àkùkọ Gàgàrà 2001 (The Over mighty Cock),Ọ̀gá Nìyáà Mi 2005 (My Mother is  Great ) and Kò Sáyè Láàfin 2008 (No Vacancy in the Palace). He is currently an Associate Professor of Yoruba Literature and Culture.


Mr. Andrew Martin

National English Literary Museum

“Opening a Closed Book: Rediscovering Black South African English Literature.”

Andrew Martin was born in 1964 to South African parents in the United States. In 1972 Andrew’s family moved to Cape Town, where Andrew completed his schooling. In 1988, Martin obtained a Bachelor of Social Science degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT). In 1990 Martin obtained the Post-Graduate Diploma in Librarianship and Information Science, also from UCT.  In 1991-1992 Martin worked as a researcher for the Social History of Christianity project in the Religious Studies Department at UCT and in 1993 worked as part-time librarian at SACHED’s Cape Town office. In 1994 Martin moved to Grahamstown where he was appointed as an assistant librarian at the National English Literary Museum (NELM). In 1995, he was promoted into NELM’s research department, where he began work on a major bibliographic project, namely A Bibliography of Anglophone Creative Writing and Literary Criticism by Black South Africans  1800-1990. Martin’s main task in this project is to find this marginalised literature so that it can be documented, stored and easily retrieved for future use. His other duties at NELM include assisting the public with queries and compiling exhibition texts.

Martin has compiled Poems of Dennis Brutus: A Checklist, 1945-2004. He has also compiled shorter bibliographies for More Than Brothers: Peter Clarke & James Matthews at Seventy [with Hein Willemse] and ‘No Other World’ – Essays on the Life-Work of Don Maclennan.

Martin has delivered conference papers in Grahamstown, East London, Cape Town, Polokwane, Pietermaritzburg and London. He has written extensively on NELM as well as on his research. Articles and reviews by Martin have appeared in The Quarterly Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa, Baobab, English Studies in Africa, African Writing Online, Wordstock and NELM News. He has also contributed chapters to Es’kia: May You Grow as Big as an Elephant and Dwarf the Rhinoceros and Engaging with Literature of Commitment. Volume 1. Africa in the World.

Outside of NELM, Martin enjoys writing poetry. Some of his poems have been published in the journals, Aerial and Carapace as well as in the anthologies The Ground’s Ear and the 2012 Off-the Wall Anthology.

Martin is also a competitive chess player and has been coach of the Rhodes University Chess Club for many years.


Dr. Polo Belina Moji

“Domesticating Ivorité: Equating Xenophobic Nationalism and Women’s Marginalisation in Tanella Boni’s Matins de couvre-feu, 2005 (Ivory Coast)”.

Polo Belina Moji holds a diploma in Media Management (AAA School of Advertising , 1997), a BA Language Practitioners (Rand Afrikaans University, 2001), a BA Honours in French Translation (Rand Afrikaans University, 2003), an MA in Comparative General and Comparative Literature (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2006) and a PhD in Comparative Literature (Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2011).

Born in Lesotho, she worked in the South African media and advertising industry from 1998 to 2003, during which time she became a South African permanent resident. Having worked as a media planner, a media strategist and strategic planner on various Unilever brands, she joined the South African Broadcasting Corporation in 2002 before pursuing an academic career in France.

As a récipient of the Bourse de la Région Ile de France scholarship, her MA research was a comparative study of the poetic of cultural roots in French Caribbean and Afro-American literature entitled: La poétique de racines culturelles: Beloved (1989) de Toni Morrison et Pluie et vent sur Télumée Miracle (1972) de Simone Schwartz Bart.

Her research interest in nationalism, créole identities and cultural hybridism in Africa and the Diaspora was further developed by her doctoral thesis entitled Réimaginer la nation – nationalisme africain, engagement sociopolitique et autoreprésentation chez les romancières subsahariennes / Re-imagining the nation – African nationalism, socio-political commitment and self-representation in sub-Saharan women’s novels. This was a joint project between the Université de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle (France) and the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa) was funded by a grant from the French Embassy in South Africa.

Dr Moji is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of KwaZulu Natal, where her focus is on the link between cultural hybridism and female emancipation in Anglophone and Francophone sub-Saharan women’s literature. She is a proponent of the comparative (Anglophone /Francophone), transnational approach as a means of bridging the knowledge gap between the Anglophone and Francophone literary studies in sub-Saharan Africa.


Bramwel Oita Akileng

Director of Jacaranda Intellectual Property Business Consultants
(LLB, LLM Intellectual Property) Law School, University of Pretoria.

“The Challenges Facing the Morden Writer and the Benefits That can be Accrued Through Proper Use of Copyright”

Mr. Akileng is a Kenyan National, permanent resident in South Africa. He is a law graduate of the University of South Africa and is a specialist in intellectual property law, commercial law and general legal practice matters, based in Pretoria. Akileng has legal knowledge and expertise in international transactions, banking and usage, negotiation, contract review, document and legal review, policy and legislative review etc.

Akileng is a founding member and Director of Jacaranda Intellectual Property Business Consultants, a successful business enterprise based in Pretoria, South Africa and he is also the current Secretary General of AIPA (Africa Intellectual Property Association),  working closely with the World Intellectual Property Organization, in the promotion of intellectual Property on the Continent. He is also Director of Echo Canyon property development company. Mr. Akileng is a businessman and investor.


  • Technology Licensing and Negotiation Skills in Intellectual Property in Africa for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) training programme, Harare, Zimbabwe, February 2005
  • Technology transfer: Africa’s position as compared to the rest of the world, Dar-es-saalam, Tanzania, May 2005, organized by the Center for the Management of Intellectual Property in Health Research, Oxford, England.
  • Intellectual Property Rights, Human Rights and Indigenous Knowledge Rights to visiting American students from Douglas College of the University of Rutgers New Jersey, Pretoria, January 2006
  • Copyright “Legal and ethical considerations when adapting materials produced by other people” to the National Diploma on ABET Practice NQF 5 Learner Conference, Johannesburg, February 2006.
  • Revisiting African Technology and Innovation”, SARIMA Annual Conference, May 2006 Pretoria South Africa
  • The potential effects of US Patent Law in Global Market in the Current Case Pending before the US Supreme Court in Microsoft V AT&T, Vrije University Amsterdam Law Journal, 2008

Dr. Bheki R. Mngomezulu

Durban University of Technology, SA

“Alan Paton and Chinua Achebe: Revisiting Africa’s Ugly Pasts through Novel Writing”.

Bheki R. Mngomezulu obtained SSTD + BPaed from the University of Zululand, BA (Hon) in History + BA (Hon) in Politics + MA in History from the University of the Western Cape. He further obtained MA in Politics from the University of South Africa (UNISA), MA in History + PhD in African Political History from Rice University, Texas, USA

He currently works as Research Co-ordinator, DUT Faculty of Arts & Design and has previously worked as Senior Lecturer in History and Politics & Deputy Head of School of Social Science (UKZN), Lecturer for Research (CPUT), History Lecturer (UWC), Policy advisor/Research analyst (Department of International Relations).

His academic activities include publishing book reviews, book chapters, one manuscript and articles in various national and international journals. He has one book in press and one under review as well as book chapters and journal articles. Bheki has presented more than 50 academic papers at national and international gatherings on various themes across disciplines.

Currently serves as a reviewer for several journals and is a member of the Nelson Mandela Museum Council and the Council of Economic History Society of Southern Africa.

Alma Jean Billingslea Brown

Spelman College, USA

Alma Jean Billingslea, professor of English, is founding faculty and former director of the African Diaspora and the World (ADW) program at Spelman College. Her professional interests include African American and African Diaspora studies with emphasis on comparative Africana literatures, expressive and material forms of African American folklore, border theory and civil rights biography.  With travel and faculty exchanges in the Caribbean, South America and Africa, Professor Billingslea has taught at University of La Salle in Bogota, Colombia, conducted research at the Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana at Legon and has been the recipient of Fulbright and Ford Foundation Fellowships.

She has published articles in national and international journals as well as a book length study of black women writers and visual artists entitled, Crossing Borders through Folklore: African American Women’s Fiction Art. A veteran of the southern civil rights movement, Professor Billingslea’s current research is focused to conceptions of freedom, social justice and human rights and the field staff members who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).  Professor Billingslea received the A.B. degree from Rutgers University, the M.A. from Atlanta University and the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. Marlies Taljard

Senior Lecturer: School of Languages, North-West University

“Who wins the prize? – Ways of judging literary and academic texts”

Marlies Taljard was born in Pretoria where she attended school and recieved the BA (THOD) degree. She received an Hons. BA and MA from the PU vir CHO and a PhD in literary theory and the poetics of Antjie Krog from the NWU. She has presented several papers on national and international conferences and regularly writes book reviews for local and international newspapers and academic journals.  She has published widely, both nationaly and internationaly. Her solo blog on a prestigious SA poetry website is widely read. She serves on the editorial staff of several accredited and non-accredited journals and acts as adjudicator for several literary awards.

Mr. Ikeogu Oke

“The Poetry of Dennis Brutus and the Dynamics of Africa’s Liberation Struggles”

Ikeogu Oke is the author of three books of poetry, Where I Was Born, Salutes Without Guns and Song of Success and Other Poems for Children. Since 1988 his poems have appeared in print on both sides of the Atlantic in a variety of journals, including Unity Magazine, Discovery (published in Braille), Farafina, and Prosopisia, and in such webzines as Ayaka and Saraba. He has also performed his poems extensively at home and overseas. A native of Akanu Ohafia, in south-eastern Nigeria, he holds a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Calabar and an MA in Literature from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has had an eventful working career, beginning as a maintenance crewman in the then National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). He has also been a consultant with several United Nations agencies and the Deputy Director of Communications and a Writing Instructor at the American University of Nigeria, Yola. He was a Standards Editor at Timbuktu Media Limited, Lagos (publishers of NEXT newspaper), and a Technical Adviser (on media and communications) with the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Abuja. He is currently a media and communications aide to the Nigerian Minister of Power. In 2010, his second book of poems, Salutes Without Guns, was long-listed for the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature and selected by the Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer as one of the Books of the Year for the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), who said of Oke in her comment justifying the selection: “Here is a writer who finds the metaphor for what has happened and continues, evolves, not often the way we want in our lives in Africa and the world. He does so timelessly and tellingly, as perhaps only a poet can.”

Dr. Neville Choonoo

“Black Autobiography, Resistance and the Diaspora”.

Born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Dr. Choonoo received his early undergrad training in Durban and later at CCNY and Columbia in New York. He holds an MA in creative writing and studied under Joseph Heller, in NYC. His Ph.D. dissertation was titled “Parallel Lives” a Comparative study of Black American and Black South African Autobiography.
He has been awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, for research/study at Berkeley and University of Texas, Austin. He is a member of the African Literature Association. He has published articles on the Sophiatown generation and Drum Magazine.
He is currently a professor in the departments of English/Africana and Latino Studies, he has served as chair for these departments on several occasions. He has also lectured at Columbia and the University of Durban—Westville. His teaching areas are in the area of African American and African literatures, Black autobiography and the Diaspora, Pan-Africanism and Black literature. He is currently lecturing at the State University of New York at Oneonta. He regards South Africa as his permanent home.