2019 Speakers

The 8th International African Writers Day Lecture

“Africa Writing in Tongues: Towards Social, Political, Heritage and Cultural Justice” 





Professor Mandla Stanley Makhanya was appointed Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa on 1 January 2011 and is a prominent proponent of higher education leadership and advocacy. Prof Makhanya served as President of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE) until 31 December 2017. He is also Treasurer of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE). Professor Makhanya is also the President of the Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL) – International Body.


Masters Degree in Industrial Sociology: University of KwaZulu Natal
BA (Honours) in Sociology: University of Fort Hare
BA (Honours) in Sociology: University of Fort Hare
Post Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education: University of South Africa
Advanced Management Program (AMP): Harvard Business School


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa): University of Athabasca, Canada In recognition of outstanding leadership at Unisa and sustained contribution as a distinguished scholar in distance education.
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) Thomas Edison State University, USA


He maintains active scholarship through regular publications.

Professor Makhanya is a Deputy Chairperson of the South African National Commission for UNESCO and Chairperson of the Culture Sector of the South African National Commission for UNESCO. He has also been a member of the National Committee of the Memory of the World (MoW). In the 1990s he served in various leadership roles in the South African Sociological Association, including as its Deputy President in 1998, for a period of two years. He continues to be a member of the South African Sociological Association (SASA) and the International Association of Sociology (ISA). Prof Makhanya is on the advisory board of JRODel (Journal of Research in Open, Distance and e-Learning).

Prof Makhanya is married to Mandu Makhanya and they are blessed with four children.

Mr Muyanga Innocent Ziba 

Present Posts    : Lecturer in Communication and Journalism, University of

Livingstonia, Malawi

: Editor In Chief, The African Light Magazine


Master of Arts in Communication–, Dublin City University, Ireland (Validated by the South African Qualifications Authority as fit for employment and education)

Bachelor of Journalism-University of Malawi

PhD student University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa- ongoing


“Linking Culture and Development ” 


This paper presents results from a study investigating the link between culture and development. A total of 200 people were interviewed from five different constituencies in the Zulu/ Ngoni tribe in Mzimba district in Malawi. This was used as a sample for the Ngoni tribe, an offshoot of the Zulu tribe in South Africa, who are now settled in Northern Malawi, Southern part of Tanzania, eastern Zambia and Matabeleland in Zimbabwe (Mithi, 1996).  The aim was to gauge the extent to which they make decisions regarding health and agricultural issues in relation to culture. The study used a simple sampling method to choose the respondents and a stratified sampling method to choose the constituencies. Qualitative methods such as focus group discussions, interviews and questionnaires were used to gather this information from people (Alassutari, 1995). In these interviews, it was revealed that people use the Bandura cognitive theory (Macleod, 2011). It was also revealed that people still stick to their Zulu/Ngoni culture and this has a strong bearing in the way they make decisions. It is hoped that the results of this study will be used in many parts of the world, particularly in Sub- Saharan Africa.

Ngoni/Zulu, Mzimba, culture, Bandura, Zululand, stratified sampling, Sub Saharan Africa, Malawi

Alassutari, P. 1995. Researching culture, qualitative method and cultural studies, London, SAGE

Mithi, L.M., 1996. Subgrouping Ngoni varieties within Nguni: a lexicostatistical approach, South African Journal of African Languages (online), 16/3, available from: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02572117.1996.10587123?journalCode=rjal20

Macleod, S. 2011. Bandura – Social Learning Theory. Simply Psychology (online).Available
from: http://www.simplypsychology.org/ban

Mr Sandile Tshabalala

BA (Law) PGDip (Governance)

MPhil (Commercial Law) in progress

MR Sandile Tshabalala is a MPhil Commercial Law candidate at the University of Cape Town. He is a Junior Company Secretary at TMF Group based in Amsterdam, Netherlands and a Legal Research in Governance and Strategy for Mazars South Africa. He has previously worked for Human Rights Watch and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute.

His expertise is in corporate governance, board governance and company secretarial. He is a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and teaches mindfulness and meditation during his spare time.


Decolonizing the Boardroom: Articulating African Thought Leadership in South Africa    


Companies shape our world. There is hardly any human activity or decision that is not influenced by companies. Societies look to companies for societal change and innovation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the manner in which the African experience is articulated, discussed and written about in the meetings of boards of directors. The boardroom is an imperative aspect of socio-economic development in Africa because diverse narratives that are communicated there essentially lead to the decision-making processes which in turn directly or indirectly affects African societies. This paper will argue that meeting minutes of the board of directors should be articulated in ways that represent contemporary African thought leadership. Afrocentrism in the boardroom calls for members of the board to be sensitive towards the socio-economic lived experiences, to be proactive in their advancement of socioeconomic realities and to make collective decisions that are at the best interest of society. Writing the stories of the boardroom is central to the emancipation of economically liberated citizens, where accountability and transparency is realized. This paper will use case studies to show the impact of board meetings in continuing the commercial legacies of colonialism and thus call for the decolonization of these practices as a means to redress the literary injustices of the past in order to move South Africa forward.


Keyword: Board of Directors, Thought Leadership, Afrocentrism, Boardroom