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Gcina Mhlophe Receives Honorary Doctorate from Rhodes University

Have You Seen Zandile?Earlier this month Gcina Mhlophe received an honorary Doctorate from Rhodes University for her contribution to literature. This is the fifth honorary doctorate that the author, poet, actress, playwright and director has received.

Mhlophe says that of all the things she has received in her life it was the “foundation of love she was given by her grandmother Mthwalo Mhlophe” that she values the most, as she taught her as a young girl that there was a bigger world out there.

Mhlophe is the author of 18 books, including Have You Seen Zandile?.

Storyteller extraordinaire Gcina Mhlophe will be honoured by Rhodes University on Friday.

The award-winning author, poet, actress, playwright and director will receive an honorary doctorate in literature from the university.

Press release:

Minister Mashatile Congratulates Dr Gcina Mhlophe

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile, extends his congratulations to celebrated storyteller, author and performer, Dr Gcina Mhlophe, on receiving her latest accolade, an honorary Doctorate from Rhodes University. Gcina Mhlophe will be honoured at a ceremony in Grahamstown today, 11 April 2014.

She is honoured by Rhodes University for her sterling contribution to literature. This is the sixth honorary doctorate that Gcina Mhlophe has received. She has previously been recognized by the London Open University(UK); University of KwaZulu–Natal; Pretoria University, University of Fort Hare and the University of Johannesburg, for a body of work that has contributed to Literature and helping to preserve the Heritage of African storytelling. She was also recognized as one of the 21 Icons alongside the likes of Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and the late President Nelson Mandela.

Gcina Mhlophe is a great ambassador of South African arts, culture and heritage. She has taken our stories to the world stage, traversing South Africa to North America to Europe and Japan, where she commands immense respect for her work. She has performed her stories in theatres like the Royal Albert Hall, the Kennedy Centre in the US and collaborated with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. She has won awards including the Sony Award for Radio Drama from BBC Africa, The Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival, an OBBIE Award in New York and the Joseph Jefferson Award in Chicago.

Through her charismatic performances she has made a sterling contribution to the preservation of our history, languages and the promotion of a literate society. She makes use of modern innovations such as radio and TV to transmit knowledge, develop and preserve an important aspect of African traditions. She continues to be involved in community development initiatives through platforms such as Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritage Trust, Nozincwadi: Mother of Books Literacy Campaign, and several other initiatives.

As we celebrate our twenty years of democracy, it is important that we acknowledge the contribution that artists make in the development of our society. It is also with immense pride that Gcina Mhlophe is recognized internationally as much as she is recognized here at home.


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