2018 Speakers

The 7th Africa Century International African Writers Conference (ACIAWC)

Theme:

“Unifying Africa: Writing and reading in African languages”

Date
6th – 7th November 2018

Venue
Dr Miriam Makeba Concert Hall, University of South Africa (UNISA), Muckleneuk Campus. Preller Street, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, Gauteng, RSA

The Main Speaker

Prof Kwesi Kwaa Prah

7th International African Writers Day Lecture

Theme:

“Unifying Africa: Writing and reading in African languages”

Profile

Kwesi Kwaa Prah is the founder and was the Director of the Africa-wide Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) based in Cape Town, South Africa.

He studied at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. He has worked extensively across Africa, Europe and Asia researching and teaching Sociology and Anthropology in various universities including Makerere University, Uganda; University of Botswana and Swaziland; University of Juba, Sudan; Cape Coast University, Ghana; National University of Lesotho; University of Namibia; University of the Western Cape, South Africa; University of Heidelberg, Germany; the Amsterdam Municipal University, in the Netherlands and The Institute for West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in China.

Kwesi Kwaa Prah has also been a Visiting Nuffield Foundation Fellow and Associate at the Centre for African Studies, and Darwin College, Cambridge University.

He is currently mainly involved with work in Anthropological Linguistics, specifically the harmonization of African orthographic conventions. He has published numerous books; these include: The Social Background of Coups d’etat (1973), Beyond the Color Line (1998), African Languages for the Mass Education of Africans (1995), Capitein. A Critical Study of an 18th Century African (1992), The Bantustan Brain Gain (1989), Mother Tongue for Scientific and Technological Development in Africa (1993), The African Nation: The State of the Nation (2006), Anthropological Prisms (2009), Soundings (2010), Tracings: Pan Africanism and the Challenges of Global African Unity (2014) and Sudan Matters. Reports on Traditional Leadership and Administration in Africa – Two Cases from Sudan and South Sudan (2016). Some of these books have been translated into French, Chinese and Arabic.


Speaker:

Prof Vuyisile Msila

University of South Africa, Change Management Unit, Director : Leadership in Higher Education

University of South Africa, Institute for African Renaissance Studies, Faculty Member

 

Topic:

Indigenous languages and Literature in South Africa: Building communities and destroying culture?

 

Abstract

For a number of years, the academic Eskia Mphahlele regarded the English language a superior one and perceived the apartheid government as demeaning to black South Africans when it proclaimed that blacks would learn in their indigenous languages. The English language to Mphahlele, was loftier than indigenous languages because it showed them paths and ways of resistance whilst helping in the creation of nationalism in many parts of Africa.

Every year the presses publish several books and this includes self-published works. However, few of these are in indigenous languages. Yet when Ngugi Wa Thiongo decided to publish his works in his mother tongue, Gikuyu, he wanted to consciously address this dearth in the use of indigenous languages to pass on knowledge. Ngugi maintained that there was a need to oppose the Western hegemony and bring back indigenous languages in the epistemic search for identity and culture. Countless leaders in Africa have also tried to bring African languages as languages of “doing business” although they have encountered several challenges.

This presentation explores the pros and cons of publishing in indigenous South African languages. Among the themes explored are, Identity, relevance to society’s growth, the question of multilingualism as well as schools and survival of indigenous knowledges cultures.

Keywords: Culture; Epistemic Freedom; Identity; Indigeneity

 

Profile:

Vuyisile Msila is the former Head of the Institute for African Renaissance Studies. He is a biographer whose books include Mzwandile Maqina: The Untold Story (2017) as well as The Black Train Rising: The Life and Times of Welcome Duru (2009). An overall winner of ERA/Sales House Short Story Competition in 1998 and runner up of Drum-CNA Short Story Competition in 1983. Drum Magazine has published several of his stories and Umhlobo Wenene radio station has broadcast five of his isiXhosa full length Radio Serials. He currently works at the University of South Africa and has published research in the area of indigenous languages in South Africa.


Speaker:

Prof Sara Jona Laisse

Professor of Mozambican Culture and Research Methodology, Polytechnic University.

Consultant in Teaching Quality Assessment.

 

Topic

WRITTING IN AFRICAN LANGUAGES WITH AND FOR PROSPERITY:  from cultural perspective to the usage of languages to captures performative dimensions

 

Abstract

In Mozambique, the scientific approach to the use of Mozambican languages in public life is still new, it began in the 1970s. It should be noted that, for many years, mozambican languages were already widely scattered. An example of this is the Brado Africano Journal (1918-1932), published in two languages, Ronga and Portuguese.

Moreover, as far as the publication of literary works is concerned, since independence, dating from 1975, very few literary works have been published in about 20 Mozambican languages. Since most of the literary texts are written in the Portuguese language, which is official, there is a problem in understanding the performative dimension, the representation of symbols and cultural events in the production of literary texts that, at some approach mozambican cultures. For when writing about a culture, in a language different from that of the culture represented in the literary text, there are performative or pragmatic dimensions that can be lost. At the same time, according to Fernea (1989), there is a difference between someone who writes about their own culture and another who writes about another person’s culture.
In this study I interpreted some cultural events in the Tambarare story, written by the mozambican writer Adelino Timóteo, later AT, and another, in the Legend Malidza de Carneiro Gonçalves, from now on CG. To do so, I used the Culture Analysis Model (CAM) by Geertz (2008). This author used the CAM in real context.

Adapting and adopting this model, in this research, I analyzed the literary texts mentioned above, which allowed me to apprehend the different cultural representations that it contains. To gauge conclusions, I interviewed seven research subjects from each of the cultures represented in the texts, namely ndau and sena, who confirmed that there is verisimilitude between the represented cultures and the real ones. However, what is left to the reader’s imagination in each of the texts is lacking, from the point of view of the apprehension of the performative questions. This leads me to recommend that these works be translated into the languages from which these cultures originate so as to capture the different pragmatic and performative dimensions of those languages, which will ultimately contribute to the prosperity of African languages.

 

Profile:

Prof Sara Jona Laisse – Doctorate in Literature and Cultures in Portuguese Language at the New University of Lisbon. Professor of Mozambican Culture and Research Methodology at the Polytechnic University. She is a consultant in Teaching Quality Assessment. She is the author of teaching manuals, articles published in national and foreign newspapers and magazines. She published the book Between the Indian and the Atlantic: essays on literature and other texts and is co-author of the work Organizational Identity: a differential for the competitiveness of Mozambican companies and the Portuguese-Bitonga-Portuguese Dictionary with Grammar Compendium. Three years ago, in coordination with two colleagues from other universities, she runs a scientific event called “Tertúlias Itinerantes” held by different academic areas of knowledge and from various universities discussing the theme “interculturality”. For 18 years, she has another program to encourage the literary books reading called “Tertúlias de Sábado”. She has participated in several national and international scientific events and has been a jury member in literary competitions in her country and in others.


Speaker:

Dr Berrington Ntombela

Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of English at the University of Zululand

Topic:

Linguistic disability: the legacy of coloniality

 

Abstract:

Research abounds which points to the need to use mother tongues as media of instruction. This is evidenced by the advantage that English native speakers and Afrikaans native speakers in South Africa have over the overwhelming majority of Black South Africans who do not use their native languages as media of instruction. Not only that, research in multiple intelligences indicates that some are endowed with special linguistic abilities. This means, other than the natural acquisition of language, others have gravitation towards linguistic diversity. But the natural phenomenon is that every person is endowed with a linguistic ability to read, interpret and interact with the environment through the home language. The neglect of these logical notions results in intellectual disablement.

Most Black Africans in the education system are regarded as intellectually deviant simple because they cannot express themselves because of a linguistic impediment caused by reliance on colonial languages as media of instruction. However, the same way that systems are built to exclude physically challenged such that they are labelled as disabled, the intellectual space is built to exclude many people on account of language barrier.

There are solutions none the less. The promotion and development of indigenous languages so that they operate as media of instruction will elevate the intellectual engagement of many who are excluded on account of language just the same way physical spaces must be built to accommodate every kind of ability. In other words, there is an urgency to decolonise the meritorious mentality built on uneven ground. When indigenous languages are acknowledged to have the same capacity of grappling with sophisticated intellectual theorisation and academic engagement, linguistic disability would have been addressed.

 

Profile:

Dr Ntombela holds a D.Phil. (English) degree obtained from the University of Zululand in 2009. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of English at the University of Zululand. He has also worked as Head of English Department at SABIS University of Erbil, Kurdistan-Iraq. He was Senior Lecturer at Caledonian College of Engineering, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. He was a Lecturer at Higher College of Technology, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. He has presented scholarly papers at international conferences in Malaysia, Sultanate of Oman, Japan, Australia, Kenya, and South Africa. He has over ten journal publications. He has published chapters in books and a collection of poems. He is also an international PhD examiner.

He is very passionate about the practice of teaching and learning. He is also a doctoral supervisor. He is a 2016 recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching & Learning.


Speaker:

Ms Monicca Thulisile Bhuda

Library assistant , guest lecturer / lecturer assistant, Golden Key International Honour Society member

North West University, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science; Indigenous Knowledge Systems Centre

Topic:

The integration of Indigenous languages within the CAPS curriculum: A decolonising perspective

 

Profile:

Monicca Thulisile Bhuda is a culture activist, Library assistant, guest lecturer/ lecturer assistant and a Master’s student at the North-West University, Mafikeng. She is originally from Kwaggafontein, KwaNdebele in Mpumalanga. Thulisile holds a Bachelor (Hons) degree on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (BIKS) from the North West University (2017) and graduated with a distinction. Some of her achievements include being Golden Key International Honour Society member, representing the North West University in South Korea in 2016. She has monthly live radio interviews on Ikwekwezi FM on African Science and Technology and does live television interviews on Daily-thetha TV on SABC 1 in 2018 focusing on decolonization of education and other culture related topics. Her current master’s degree interrogates ethnomathematics amongst the Ndebele nation. She is interested in doing her PhD in IKS or African studies and has passion to remain in academia. Her main interests are ethnomathematics, African metallurgy and African indigenous astronomy.


Speaker:

Z. Matshoba

Manager: Education and Public Programmes

National English Literary Museum (Nelm)

DLitt Candidate: Nelson Mandela University

Topic:

IsiXhosa as a microcosm of African Languages Literatures in the Public Spaces

Profile:

Zongezile Matshoba works at the National English Literary Museum, based in Grahamstown. He is part of the Education and Public Programmes (EPP) team that is tasked with taking the museum and its literary collection to the people, as well as ensuring that readers, writers, publishers, researchers, teachers and other users engage with the museum spaces. Matshoba is also a writer, writing in isiXhosa and English.

He is currently completing his DLitt (isiXhosa) at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth with the aim of producing an isiXhosa literary guide that could be adapted for other South African indigenous languages.


Speaker:

Kabelo Duncan Kgatea

Multi award winning author

Topic:

Go kwala ka Setswana le go se bolokela kago ya setshaba sa isago

Profile

Kabelo Duncan Kgatea ‘Mabinagotsholwa’, Kabelo Duncan Kgatea was born on 31 January 1961 at Madibogo village, Motsitlane section in the North West province in South Africa.

Kabelo is a five times winner of the Sanlam Prize for youth literature, two time winner of the Mnet book Prize.

He has a Diploma in Business Communications with Stanford Business College, Certificate in comprehensive writing with The Writing school of South Africa, Certificate in Journalism and Media Studies in 2003 with INTEC College, Certificate in Basic Principles of Public Relations in 2008 and in 2009 he completed a course in Public Relations writing both at PRISA. Advance development course in sport Managements & Administration with Sport and Management Excellence in 2006. He completed a course in Drama and Public Speaking with Mmabana Cultural Centre in 1995 and a course in Feature Film Writing from The South African Script Writing Institute, Services accredited SETA certificate in HIV/AIDS Awareness Facilitator by ITD Training in 2008.


Speaker:

Dr Hleze Kunju

Lecturer, Researcher, Author, and Poet.

Rhodes University, ISEA

 

Uphuhliso lwesiGama nokuBhalwa kwesiXhosa kumaZiko eMfundo ePhakamileyo

Isishwankathelo

Abantu abantetho isisiNgesi njengolwimi lwasekhaya eMzantsi Afrika baqikelelwa kwiipesenti ezisi-8. 2 (%) kuphela, ze iipesenti ezingama-91. 8 (%) ibe ngabantu abathetha iilwimi zaseMzantsi Afrika (Banda 2009, Kamwangamalu 2004). Nangona kunjalo, olona lwimi luphambili kumaziko emfundo ephakamileyo sisiNgesi. Ukusetyenziswa kweelwimi zesiNtu kumaziko emfundo ephakamileyo kuyaqhuba kodwa isekho imiqobo kunye nemingeni ebangela ukuba kube nzima ukusebenzisa ezi lwimi zesiNtu ngokupheleleyo. IsiXhosa sijamelene negxaki yophuhliso lwesigama.

Igcuntswana leethisisi namanqaku asele epapashwe ngesiXhosa zibubungqina bokuba, uninzi lwabahlohli nabafundi aluziva lukhululeke ngokupheleleyo ukuboleka amagama esiNgesi luwazise esiXhoseni. Endaweni yoko, lubhenela ekusebenziseni izivakalisi ezinika ingcaciso yegama elo endaweni yokuboleka kwezinye iilwimi (kwisiNgesi). Umzekelo woku, endaweni yokusebenzisa u-Methodi noMethodoloji bakhetha ukunika ingcaciso ethi, ‘indlela oluqhutywe ngayo olu phando,’ Bhibliyografi, ‘uluhlu lweencwadi ezisetyenzisiweyo,’ njalo-njalo.

Mibini imiba ephambili ephononongwa kweli phepha. Owokuqala yile mingeni nale miqobo ibangele ubunzima kubhalo nophuhliso lwesiXhosa kumaziko emfundo ephakamileyo, likwabonakalisa ukuba zonke iilwimi zikhula ngokuboleka kwezinye. Umba wesibini kukuba, uphuhliso lweelwimi zesiNtu nokukhuthazwa kokunyuswa kwenqanaba lokufunda zizinto ezingundoqo nekufuneka zithathelwe ingqalelo ukuze kuphuculwe nangakumbi isizwe esintsundu.

Amagama aphambili: IsiXhosa, Isigama, Uphuhliso.

 

Profile:

Dr Hleze Kunju is a multi-award-winning Lecturer, Researcher, Author, and Poet. He is the co-coordinator of the MA in Creative Writing at Rhodes University. He obtained MA with Distinction in African Languages/ Music and musicology (Researching Intercultural Communication and the use of isiXhosa literature (poetry and music) in the new South African opera music from Rhodes University).

He wrote Rhodes University’s first isiXhosa PhD thesis and received The Most Outstanding PhD Thesis Award by the African Language Association of Southern Africa.

He has facilitated Creative Writing workshops in various schools (including the Eastern Cape Schools Festival). For years, he was an isiXhosa poetry editor for the Grocott’s Mail Newspaper. His interest is in innovative and experimental writing in African Languages.

 


Speaker:

Mr Thembinkosi Qwabe

Qualified teacher (BA, BA Hons, HDE and Masters)

UKZN (PhD Student)

Topic:

African literature’s struggle to break the chains of colonial bondage

 

Abstract

The African people have been victims of colonialism and domination over centuries. Their minds have been alienated through a painful journey of time. They have been the hunted who have to listen to their triumphant hunter telling his exploits, the story of the hunt. This painful legacy has pervaded throughout the African continent and amongst many challenges that have arisen from this is the struggle of African languages which has also resulted to literature that has been constrained.

This paper focuses on the role of African literature in the post-Apartheid era. While looking at the current state of African literature at this juncture and the reasons thereof, it also amongst others, explores the pan-Africanist principles in the development and restoration of Africa’s identity. Finally the paper also examines how African literature has been marginalized and misrepresented and how it may rise and develop.

Keywords

Colonialism: A policy by which mainly white nations maintained and extended control over foreign dependencies. It benefitted the controlling nations.

Apartheid: an official policy of racial segregation by the racist white governments in South Africa. It benefitted whites at the expense of blacks.

Post-colonialism: A period after the end of colonialism.

Post-apartheid: literature produced in period after the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

Committed literature: This is a kind of literature which writes about daily issues and challenges facing the people. While tackling issues it also guides the society.

 

Profile:

Thembinkosi Blessing Qwabe is a qualified teacher (BA, BA Hons, HDE and Masters). Currently, he is on his final year in PhD at the UKZN. As a publishing writer, he has vastly written and published in all genres in isiZulu. He has also co-published an anthology of short stories in English (The Perfect Choice and other stories). He has presented papers in the oral history national conferences and participated in the International Time of the Writer in 2018. . His PhD study focuses on the challenges of the post-Apartheid era as revealed in the twelve isiZulu novels.

 


Speaker:

Mocholoko, Zulumathabo Zulu

Africanist doctoral Practitioner; Metaphysical Scientist; Engineer and Author

Topic:

Africography of Language – African Metaphysics, Mathematical Linguistics and Cosmology

 

Abstract

This scholarly paper proposes a novel solution to the metaphysical problem wherein the African native is devoid of authenticity of knowledge. The advent of the ECC (Euro-Christian Colonial) system in South Africa has created a situation wherein the African native has trouble knowing what is indigenously African and what is not with respect to the authenticity of knowledge. This epistemic problem, herein described as cultural hegemony, poses an impressive threat to the long term survivability of the African natives in the land of their African ancients as attested for by the behaviour patterns of identity crisis; shapeshifting and moral decay that they are perpetually bedevilled by, resulting in separatist tendencies and lack of cohesion.

Like a naive defender in the carnivorous grasslands, the default response of the African native is to double down on the onslaught of cultural hegemony by retreating from the post and handing over the African child to the wolves of the Arctic North to instruct the African child to internalise the ethics; the rules and the values of foreign occupation instead of the child learning about the cosmology of the erudite ancestors who have gone before us.

There are three gaps in this abdicative strategy namely (1) the African scholars learn more about others instead of themselves; (2) suffer more from identity crisis than before and (3) the newly acquired Eurocentric knowledge does not enhance their survival experience in the terrestrial space.

Using the disruptive metascience of Africography, our novel solution addresses the knowledge gaps and the problem of cultural hegemony through the invocation of African metaphysics; numerical logic and the knowledge of the cosmos that comes to us as a paradigm case on account of the sacred intellectual achievements of the erudite ancestors who have gone before us premised on an African language as a source of new knowledge.

The implication of our solution provides the intellectual fighting sticks that enable the African natives to retake their position as the architects of their sacrosanct destiny to enhance their survival experience in the terrestrial space as it was intended to be. Badimo ke bao! Thokoza Makhosi!

 

Profile:

Mocholoko, Zulumathabo Zulu is an Africanist doctoral practitioner; a metaphysical scientist; an engineer; an inventor and a published author of more than eight books including South Africa’s first Sesotho Dictionary of Mathematics; The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert: African Philosophical Transcendence; African Origin of Mathematics and hundreds of scholarly articles. A software engineer with more than 20 years of North American experience, Zulu’s expertise includes object oriented analysis and design; reverse engineering; algorithms and heuristics complexity; cryptography and computer forensics. He has engineered a graphics engine for Google of San Francisco (the search engine company); a communication system for the Canadian police and a tracking system for NCR (manufacturer of ATM bank machines) to name but a few.

Since returning from exile in Canada in 2010, Zulu has been active in the indigenous knowledge systems in terms of research; teaching; decolonisation and keynote speaking in a number of conferences and universities including North West University – Mafikeng; North West University –

Potchefstroom; University of Johannesburg; University of the Free State; Central University of Technology; Nelson Mandela University and University of South Africa.

Zulu graduated in 1997 with honours in General Arts & Science at Algonquin College of Applied Arts & Technology in Canada with a concentration in Mathematics and Computing Science; completed advanced engineering at Carleton University and a post-graduate certificate in Object Oriented Analysis and Design in 1998 at the Praxis Institute of Ottawa.

Zulu completed more than ten years at the University of Ottawa conducting an independent research in brain processing for the invention of Thekwini Visual Canvass for which he was awarded intellectual property certificates by the Federal Government of Canada. Thekwini Visual Canvass was engineered for therapeutics at the School of Computer Science at Carleton University in Ottawa. It was also through the spin-off from this independent university research work in Canada that Zulu invented a new knowledge system known as Africography which served as a theoretical and methodological framework of his technological inventions.

In 2017, Zulu completed a proctored independent research that began in 2013 in the doctoral knowledge of the Basotho with the permission and supervision of the Bafokeng in the Free State province using the ancient Basotho doctoral school system known as Mophato. This indigenous doctoral knowledge of the Basotho has been completed in a form of a dissertation titled The Doctoral

Dissertation of Mocholoko: African Origin of Metaphysical Science; Cosmology and Therapeutics. After receiving permission, Zulu will publish the dissertation in book form

Zulu is a professional member of the American Mathematical Society; Association of Computing Machinery; and Academic and Non Fiction Authors Association of South Africa.

His latest scholarly paper is titled African Drum Telegraphy and Indigenous Innovation: African Contribution To Communication Science accepted for peer-reviewed publication in the forth coming book Shifting the Geography of Reason (edited by Professor Siphamandla Zondi of the University of Pretoria) to be published by the University of Witwatersrand Press, Johannesburg.


Speaker

Prof Pitika Ntuli

Topic:

“The Poetics of Orality”.

Profile:

Pitika Ntuli is a South African sculptor, poet, writer, and academic who spent 32 years of his life in exile in Swaziland and the UK. He holds an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York and an MA in ‘Comparative Industrial Relations and Industrial Sociology’ from Brunel University. While in exile in the UK he taught at Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, the London College of Printing, Middlesex University and the University of East London. Since returning to South Africa he has taught at Wits and UKZN.

Pitika Ntuli has exhibited his sculpture in several individual and group exhibitions in many countries in Europe and in the USA, and has organised numerous international art and cultural events in Britain and South Africa. He had his first exhibition in South Africa at Museum Africa in 2010, and the accompanying catalogue, ‘The Scent of Invisible Footprints: the Sculpture of Pitika Ntuli’ was published by UNISA.

Since 2010 the ‘Pitika Ntuli Studios’ has created several monumental sculptures in Belfast Black Granite and metal recording the culture and historical struggles of South Africa. Some of these Monuments can be found in Diepkloof, COSATU house, and on display at venues including Melrose Arch and Constitutional Hill. The Studios are also home to an Academy that provides training, outreach and workshops for marginalised communities (Facebook page: Pitika Ntuli Studios)

He is an expert in African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and is a regular political and cultural commentator on TV and Radio. He is a well-known poet and speaker who has been a keynote speaker at numerous high-profile events and has read his poetry in many forums in the country and the Region.He has also participated in several national and provincial task teams and ministerial advisory committees.

Pitika is married to Antoinette Ntuli and they have a large family of children and grandchildren.


Speaker

Richard Lephethi Moloele

Lecturer: Setswana School of Education

Sol Plaatjie University, Kimberley, South Africa

Abstract

It is common cause that for a language to grow, there is a dire need for a new body of knowledge that comes in the form of literary works. A lot of books have been written but do not get prescribed. Worrisome is that some established publishers in the country run literary competitions year in year out but the snag is that the winning titles never get read in our schools. This paper tries to investigate why are books gathering dust on the shelves and never get read or even used in our schools and communities at large? It has been found out that:

(i) Our people do not like reading Setswana books for leisure

(ii) Prescription of books is biased to certain authors

(iii) The government tries to save money by using same books repeatedly in schools.

(iv) Aspiring and established authors are discouraged about this practice.

The effect is that all the findings alluded to above, do lot of injustice to our languages. The paper came up with recommendations which when followed to the letter, will grow languages and put them to limelight.

Profile:

Richard Lephethi Moloele born in Marapyane, Skilpafontein, he is a teacher by profession. He holds the following qualifications:

UDE (Secondary) : Strydom College of Education

BA : North West University

Hon Setswana : University of Pretoria

PGDE : MANCOSA

FDE (Educational Management) : RAU

MA in Languages : RAU

MA in Development and Management : NWU: Potchefstroom Campus

MBA (HR) : NWU : Mahikeng Campus

  1. Tech in Public Management : with TUT (still in progress)

He started his career at Mmametlhake High School in Mmametlhake, went to R.A. Kobue High School in Ditsobotla then moved to Barolong High School in Mahikeng. He worked as a Principal at Moitshoki Mofenyi School, promoted to a Circuit Manager position in Kagisano Molopo APO in Vryburg then transferred to Moretele APO in Makapanstad. After his resignation, he worked at TUT an d lectured Public Managenet modules for four years, moved to Embury Institute for Higher Education where he was employed as a Setswana lecturer, servicing both Montana and Midrand Campuses and later moved to Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley where he is employed as a permanent Setswana lecturer.

Moloele a Mocha Rakau, MorwaMocha as he is affectionately called has written the following books:

  1. Rumo la ntlha : (One act plays drama): MML
  2. Morokotso : (One act Plays) Shooter and Shuter Publishers
  3. Kgetse ya tsie. (One act plays) Co-authored with ML Molefe
  4. Itlho le le losi ( Novel) : MML

The following are manuscripts sent in for review:

  1. Ngicoleleni
  2. Intshwareleng
  3. Nko ga e dupe
  4. Ga ke mmatle!

Speaker

Dr Mathene Mahanke

Acting Director: Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation – Free State

Topic

“RECLAIMING THE AFRICAN SOUL: Literature as a vehicle for social comment”

Profile

MATHENE MAHANKE is currently an Acting Director in the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation (Free State). Born in Bethlehem and grew up at Mahankeng Village, in Qwaqwa, he attended Qwaqwa Primary and Makabelane High schools; obtained his BA [History, Sesotho & Philosophy] and BA Hons [Sesotho] degrees from the University of the North; and passed his Masters (cum laude) and PhD [Language Studies] degrees at the University of the Free State.

He lectured in Sesotho at the Qwaqwa campus of the University of the North (1982 – 1997); joined the private sector for 10 years. In 2006 he was appointed Curator for Sesotho Literature Museum; later the Manager of museums in the Free State; and, currently, Manager and Head of Language Services.

He is a published author, a training provider and an advisor in the teaching of Sesotho literature. His novel, Tutudu ha e patwe, is prescribed for Grade 12 examinations by the Department of Basic Education (RSA) and has been approved by Lesotho Ministry of Education for use in schools in 2025 – 2027.


Speaker:

Prof Pamela Maseko

Professor and the Executive Dean of Humanities Faculty at North West University, Potchefstroom and Visiting Professor at Rhodes University

Topic

Language, knowledge, and power: Exploring the power of African language writings in the reclamation of African indigenous epistemologies

Abstract

The main thread of argument that runs through research on languages in South African academy is that English dominates African languages. The argument I wish to bring to the fore is that there is a relationship between language, power and knowledge, and that language issues in South Africa are issues of power relations between dominant and dominated people on the one hand, and people and knowledge on the other. It is therefore not the language that dominates people, but it is people with power that dominate those with less power. In this context, the language of the dominant people and their knowledge is used to disseminate, entrench and sustain that power (Alexander 1991; Gqoba 1877/2015; Mafeje 1994; Maseko 2016, 2017 & 2018; Obanya 2004; Prah 2017, Wolff 2016). The second argument relates specifically to the relationship between language and knowledge. Language on the one hand is the medium through which we communicate knowledge. Language is made up of words that reference something in our mind, i.e. something that people in a society know. On the other hand, knowledge, i.e. what we know, is constructed and reconstructed, altered and regulated through words of a language in institutions of power. Words that make up a language spring from the struggles of members of a society to name the thoughts they have about different phenomena in their social surroundings; words are the dress that cover the ideas of a society. This is a universal linguistic phenomenon (Wa Thiong’o 2013).

Given the above, and also in response to the debates for search of Africanness and indigeneity in knowledge production and dissemination in academia, this contribution seeks to explore the extent to which words reflect the knowledge and values of isiXhosa-speaking society, through the writings of Gqoba (1877-1888), Mqhayi (1914) and Jordan (1940.
The academy marginalises this knowledge and African thought systems, or projects them as no more than a simple “folk-thought” meriting no serious classification in the hierarchy of knowledge (Kunene 1981:xiii).

Specifically, the presentation investigates concepts that relate to kinship and justice, and the extent to which these concepts shed light into the ways of knowing of the isiXhosa-speaking society at the time. The presentation of these thoughts means that we may need to change the way we construct value and power for African languages and literature, as well as challenge the hegemony and power of western knowledge in academia, which makes the rest of world to depend on it to explain and make sense of own experience.

Profile:

Pamela Maseko is a Professor and the Executive Dean of Humanities Faculty at North West University, Potchefstroom and a Visiting Professor at Rhodes University. She has worked at the Universities of the Western Cape and Cape Town, and Rhodes University. Her research interests are on Sociolinguistics and Literary Studies with a focus on literary traditions of the early isiXhosa speaking literates from the 19th to the mid-20th century. She is the Principal Investigator in the “African Languages Literary Research Hub”, a Project funded by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Andrew Mellon funded project, “Ulwimi njengovimba wolwazi: Language as a reservoir of knowledge.” She is the winner of the 2017 South African Literary Award: Literary Translators Category.


Speakers

Sabata-mpho Mokae

Novelist, Translator and Academic

Topic

Ngwagakgolo ya go tlhoka lefatshe mo Njeng Manong fa ke Sule (Kabelo Duncan Kgatea) le Native Life in South Africa (Sol T. Plaatje)

Profile:

Sabata-mpho Mokae is a novelist, translator and academic. He writes in English and Setswana (a southern African language). He is the author of a teen novella Dikeledi and a biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje. His first novella, Ga ke Modisa won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He also won the South African Literary Award in 2011. In 2014 he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa in the USA. He has translated Gcina Mhlophe’s two children’s books, Semaka sa Dinaane [Our Story Magic] and Dinaane tsa Aforika [Stories of Africa] from English to Setswana. Mokae also received the inaugural Lesedi la Afrika Award in 2017. Mokae is teaching creative writing at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, South Africa.


Speaker

Mxolisi Nyezwa

MA degree in creative writing, Poet and Editor of Kotaz Writing Magazin

Title

Listening with one ear –

Maskandi lyrics and their potential to revitalise isiXhosa poetry

Abstract

An erronous belief among practising isiXhosa poets and writers is the popular assumption that the traditional and old forms of the isiXhosa language represent a treasure that must be preserved, in all its grammatical perfection and purity. This assumption discourages experimentation and innovation in writers and kills their creativity. At most South African schools learners are taught to provide three sections to all their writing of essays: an introduction, a contents section where the drama of the story is depicted, and a conclusion to tie up loose ends and finish the story. But this linear and inflexible structure is incompatible with the actual life of a living story. At school I also had trouble understanding what the poets of my language were trying to say. However, this stasis in isiXhosa poetry has been circumvented by maskandi lyricists. Maskandi lyrics are not monolithic. The lyrics praise or challenge both the young and old, the powerful and powerless. They blend specific and often contrasting attitudes and views about local black cultures, languages and religions. This has made aesthetic demands on them, leading to deep associations between contrasting abstractions and images. This unique crafting and bending of the vernacular languages lends a lyricism to the words of the maskandi songs, a writing approach that is innovative and highly unusual among isiXhosa poets and writers. My study uses oral and literary traditions to examine and compare the methods of producing the maskandi lyrics, to those of writing isiXhosa poetry. I believe that maskandi songs with their lyrics can extend the space for poetry writing and performance in the vernacular languages, even more so because of the growing popularity of maskandi in the urban centres of South Africa.

Profile

Mxolisi Nyezwa holds a MA degree in creative writing, and teaches poetry part-time at Rhodes University. He is the editor of Kotaz Writing Magazine, the only bilingual (English and isiXhosa) writers’ magazine in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Mxolisi’s creative life is centred on writing, especially poetry, where he often facilitates poetry workshops for township and rural community schools in the Eastern Cape. He also coordinates arts projects for Imbizo Arts, a non-profit writing project in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth. In 2009 Mxolisi was the winner of the prestigous Thomas Pringle National Award for Poetry. His books of poetry are widely lauded in South Africa and beyond, and include Song Trials (2000), New Country (2008), Malikhanye (2011), and Ndiyoyika (2017). His second collection of poems, New Country, won the South African Literature Award (SALA) poetry prize in 2009.


Panel Discussions

Topic:

“African languages as a vehicle for a Pan African reality”

Discussants:

Prof Kwesi Kwaa Prah

Author, Public Speaker, African Sociologist and Anthropologist, founder of the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS)

Profile:

Kwesi Kwaa Prah is the founder and was the Director of the Africa-wide Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) based in Cape Town, South Africa.

He studied at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. He has worked extensively across Africa, Europe and Asia researching and teaching Sociology and Anthropology in various universities including Makerere University, Uganda; University of Botswana and Swaziland; University of Juba, Sudan; Cape Coast University, Ghana; National University of Lesotho; University of Namibia; University of the Western Cape, South Africa; University of Heidelberg, Germany; the Amsterdam Municipal University, in the Netherlands and The Institute for West Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in China.

Kwesi Kwaa Prah has also been a Visiting Nuffield Foundation Fellow and Associate at the Centre for African Studies, and Darwin College, Cambridge University.

He is currently mainly involved with work in Anthropological Linguistics, specifically the harmonization of African orthographic conventions. He has published numerous books; these include: The Social Background of Coups d’etat (1973), Beyond the Color Line (1998), African Languages for the Mass Education of Africans (1995), Capitein. A Critical Study of an 18th Century African (1992), The Bantustan Brain Gain (1989), Mother Tongue for Scientific and Technological Development in Africa (1993), The African Nation: The State of the Nation (2006), Anthropological Prisms (2009), Soundings (2010), Tracings: Pan Africanism and the Challenges of Global African Unity (2014) and Sudan Matters. Reports on Traditional Leadership and Administration in Africa – Two Cases from Sudan and South Sudan (2016). Some of these books have been translated into French, Chinese and Arabi.


Prof Puleng Segalo

Associate Professor of Psychology and the current Head of Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Human Sciences at the University of South Africa

Profile:

Puleng Segalo is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the current Head of Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Human Sciences at the University of South Africa. She is a member of the South African Young Academy of Science and the President Elect of the Forum for African Psychology. Prof Segalo is a recipient of a number of national and international excellence in Research awards. She is passionate about African knowledge systems, and her current research work focuses on African women writers and the importance of offering voice to the many muted voices of women. She believes in social justice and the importance of knowing one’s history.


Prof Mongane Wally Serote

Poet, Writer, Academic and Activist

Mongane Wally Serote, South African poet, born in Sophiatown, educated in Soweto and later at Columbia University. Together with Oswald Mtshali and Sipho Sepamla, he is among the most prominent South African township poets. Serote’s poems contain a strong element of political protest; he was tested to the limits of endurance in 1969 when he spent nine months in solitary confinement, though in the end was released without being charged. His books of poetry include Yakhal’inkomo (1972), the title of which refers to the ‘cry of cattle at the slaughterhouse’; Tsetlo (1974), which was banned by the South African authorities; No Baby Must Weep (1975), dramatically framed as a long monologue to a silent mother; and Behold Mama, Flowers (1978) and The Night Keeps Winking (1981), both of which experiment with jazz-like rhythms. A Tough Tale (1987) and Third World Express (1992) are long poems, the former documenting the sufferings of black South Africans and envisioning apocalyptic change; the latter a more affirmative extension of earlier sociocultural preoccupations. Come and Hope With Me (1994) is a collection of poems. His novel To Every Birth Its Blood (1981), set in the Alexandra Township, articulates the militant aspirations of young blacks in South Africa. On the Horizon (1990) is a collection of essays on literature, culture, and politics.

1973 – Ingrid Jonker Poetry Prize for the best debut collection in English

1993 – Third World Express wins the Noma Award for publishing in Africa

2003 – The English Academy of Southern Africa Medal for contribution to the English language

2004 – Pablo Neruda Medal for Writing

2007 – The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver, awarded for “Excellent contribution to literature, with emphasis on poetry and for putting his artistic talents at the service of democracy in South Africa”[2]

2007- Lifetime Achievement Literary Award, by the South African Literary Awards.

2008 – Third World Express selected for Africa Book Centre’s 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century


Facilitator:

Prof. Vuyisile Msila

University of South Africa, Change Management Unit, Director : Leadership in Higher Education

University of South Africa, Institute for African Renaissance Studies, Faculty Member

Profile:

Vuyisile Msila is the former Head of the Institute for African Renaissance Studies. He is a biographer whose books include Mzwandile Maqina: The Untold Story (2017) as well as The Black Train Rising: The Life and Times of Welcome Duru (2009). An overall winner of ERA/Sales House Short Story Competition in 1998 and runner up of Drum-CNA Short Story Competition in 1983. Drum Magazine has published several of his stories and Umhlobo Wenene radio station has broadcast five of his isiXhosa full length Radio Serials. He currently works at the University of South Africa and has published research in the area of indigenous languages in South Africa.


Topic:

“African languages and the reality of other languages’

Discussants:

Prof Pamela Maseko

Associate Professor: School of Languages,

African Language Studies – Rhodes University

Profile:

Pamela Maseko is a Professor and the Executive Dean of Humanities Faculty at North West University, Potchefstroom and a Visiting Professor at Rhodes University. She has worked at the Universities of the Western Cape and Cape Town, and Rhodes University. Her research interests are on Sociolinguistics and Literary Studies with a focus on literary traditions of the early isiXhosa speaking literates from the 19th to the mid-20th century. She is the Principal Investigator in the “African Languages Literary Research Hub”, a Project funded by the National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Andrew Mellon funded project, “Ulwimi njengovimba wolwazi: Language as a reservoir of knowledge.” She is the winner of the 2017 South African Literary Award: Literary Translators Category.


Prof Pitika Ntuli

South African sculptor, poet, writer, and academic

Profile:

Pitika Ntuli is a South African sculptor, poet, writer, and academic who spent 32 years of his life in exile in Swaziland and the UK. He holds an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York and an MA in ‘Comparative Industrial Relations and Industrial Sociology’ from Brunel University. While in exile in the UK he taught at Camberwell College of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, the London College of Printing, Middlesex University and the University of East London. Since returning to South Africa he has taught at Wits and UKZN.

Pitika Ntuli has exhibited his sculpture in several individual and group exhibitions in many countries in Europe and in the USA, and has organised numerous international art and cultural events in Britain and South Africa. He had his first exhibition in South Africa at Museum Africa in 2010, and the accompanying catalogue, ‘The Scent of Invisible Footprints: the Sculpture of Pitika Ntuli’ was published by UNISA.

Since 2010 the ‘Pitika Ntuli Studios’ has created several monumental sculptures in Belfast Black Granite and metal recording the culture and historical struggles of South Africa. Some of these Monuments can be found in Diepkloof, COSATU house, and on display at venues including Melrose Arch and Constitutional Hill. The Studios are also home to an Academy that provides training, outreach and workshops for marginalised communities (Facebook page: Pitika Ntuli Studios)

He is an expert in African Indigenous Knowledge Systems and is a regular political and cultural commentator on TV and Radio. He is a well-known poet and speaker who has been a keynote speaker at numerous high-profile events and has read his poetry in many forums in the country and the Region.He has also participated in several national and provincial task teams and ministerial advisory committees.

Pitika is married to Antoinette Ntuli and they have a large family of children and grandchildren.


Sabata-mpho Mokae

Novelist, Translator and Academic

Topic

Ngwagakgolo ya go tlhoka lefatshe mo Njeng Manong fa ke Sule (Kabelo Duncan Kgatea) le Native Life in South Africa (Sol T. Plaatje)

Profile:

Sabata-mpho Mokae is a novelist, translator and academic. He writes in English and Setswana (a southern African language). He is the author of a teen novella Dikeledi and a biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje. His first novella, Ga ke Modisa won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He also won the South African Literary Award in 2011. In 2014 he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa in the USA. He has translated Gcina Mhlophe’s two children’s books, Semaka sa Dinaane [Our Story Magic] and Dinaane tsa Aforika [Stories of Africa] from English to Setswana. Mokae also received the inaugural Lesedi la Afrika Award in 2017. Mokae is teaching creative writing at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, South Africa.


Facilitator:

Mr Mubanga Lumpa

Librarian – University of Zambia, Social media blogger and Literacy activist

Profile:

Mr. Mubanga Lumpa is a young Zambian with a passion for the use of African languages in African literature. He studied at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and currently pursuing his post graduate studies. Recently, Lumpa has been interacting with different African writers with the view to raise awareness on the important role of an African writer as drum major of the African Renaissance and Identity. Lumpa also uses his role as a professional librarian, social media blogger and literacy activist to promote the use of libraries as important institutions in society that collect, organize, preserve and disseminate different forms of works by writers for the benefit of future generations. Currently, Lumpa contributes to one of Zambia’s national Daily newspaper as a weekly columnist.


Nontobeko Tshabalala

Journalist, Writer and Communications Professional

Nontobeko Tshabalala, a writer and communications professional, believes good writing enhances the experience of life. She is passionate about the youth and its involvement in making worthwhile contributions to the discourse around sustainable development. Tshabalala has worked at the African Union Commission in the Bureau of the Chairperson as well as in the Department of Political Affairs. Her work as a Communications Associate in the highest policy making body in the continent allowed her to hone her own skills as a communicator and be able to plough back those skills in her country.

She was also nominated by the United States of America Embassy in Swaziland to represent Swaziland in the prestigious International Visitors Leadership Programme, under the theme; ‘Social Media: Power to the People’.

Further she has worked to sensitise the public on using their voices to speak out more on global issues while maintaining a Swazi centric approach. Her passion for women and the development of the youth saw her being chosen as one of the Media Institute of Southern Africa’s (MISA) Women to Watch in 2014 and moderating an AUC high level session on ‘Governance and Institutional Reform Towards Enhancing Youth Participation and Leadership’ at the 2015 Intergenerational Dialogue with the Pap African Parliament and youth. She believes in as much as the public has rights they also have responsibilities towards ensuring the development of their communities.

She continues to pen a column titled ‘Before I was Interrupted’, published in The Swazi News every Saturday where she tackles issues close to her heart such as gender equity, gender based violence, patriotism and her insights on topical matters. Her column has been running since 2012.

Tshabalala graduated from the Durban University of Technology in Journalism in 2010. She has worked as the Features Editor at the Times of Swaziland and before that worked as a Social Media Manager at Soul Providers in Johannesburg.