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Archive for the ‘isiXhosa’ Category

Don’t miss the launch of John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935) in Grahamstown

Invitation to the launch of John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935)

 
John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935)UKZN Press and the Rhodes University School of Languages: African Language Studies would like to invite you to the launch of John Solilo: Umoya wembongi: Collected poems (1922–1935) edited by Jeff Opland and Peter T Mtuze.

Come and celebrate the publication of the third volume in the Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature at the National Arts Festival on Tuesday, 5 July. The launch will start at 2:30 PM, with an introduction to the series by Pamela Maseko.

Entrance is free and refreshments will be served.

Don’t miss it!

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About the book

Publication of the Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature Volume 3

John Solilo (1864–1940) was a prolific contributor to Xhosa-language newspapers. He submitted letters and articles on a variety of issues, local news reports from Cradock and Uitenhage, and a considerable body of poetry. His major literary contribution was his collection of poems entitled Izala (A Rubbish Dump), published in 1925, the earliest volume of poetry by a single author in the history of Xhosa literature.

Solilo’s literary reputation today, however, is at variance with his prominence as a major author in the first four decades of the twentieth century: he is hardly mentioned, if at all, by literary historians, Izala has long been out of print, and copies can no longer be located. In restoring to the public domain the 65 poems that made up Izala and adding an additional 28 that were published in newspapers both before and after the appearance of Izala, the editors hope to revive Solilo’s reputation as a poet, and to establish his status as a preeminent Xhosa author.

In his poetry, Solilo urged passivity and opposed political revolt, but he could also be scathing in his denunciation of black indignities suffered under white control, inspired as he was by umoya wembongi, the spirit of the imbongi, the praise poet whose stirring declamations roused his audiences to action or contemplation.

About the editors

Jeff Opland has devoted himself to defining and restoring the heritage of literature in the Xhosa language. Among other works, with Peter Mtuze he edited two anthologies of Xhosa literature, Isigodlo sikaPhalo (1983) and Izwi labantu (1994). Opland is currently Visiting Professor in the School of Languages: African Language Studies at Rhodes University.

Peter T Mtuze is the most prolific living isiXhosa writer: he has produced novels, short stories, essays, drama, poetry, autobiography and language books. Mtuze’s first book, UDingezweni (1966), is regarded as a classic novel. One of his singular achievements was his translation of former President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, into isiXhosa. He worked on the University of Fort Hare Xhosa Dictionary Project, at the University of South Africa and at Rhodes University, where he retired as Professor Emeritus.

 
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“Moaning is One of the Most Boring Art Forms”: Gcina Mhlophe Recommends Sharing Stories Instead

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of AfricaHave You Seen Zandile?
Love ChildOur Story MagicHi Zoleka!Haai Zoleka!

 
Gcina Mhlophe, actress and storyteller, was recently featured on Thabiso Sikwane’s lunchtime radio show on Power FM to speak about the new Oral History Museum, which is opening in Durban.

The Oral History Museum, which also goes by the Story House, has been a dream of Mhlophe’s for a long time. Transferring knowledge to younger generations is an important means of culture.

Before discussing the museum, Sikwane and Mhlophe speak about the Fees Must Fall movement. Mhlophe’s emphasises the importance of education, saying “I’m right behind you, babies”.

Just as the student movements this year have allowed young people to make themselves heard, the Story House is a space for South Africans to tell their stories. For Mhlophe, this has been a long time coming: “It’s been 20 years of wishing and longing and praying for an oral history museum to be opened in this country, where ordinary South Africans can tell their stories.”

Mhlophe hopes that people will take this opportunity to tell their stories instead of complaining what a poor job the rest of the world is doing representing them. “Let’s just do it,” she says “moaning is one of the most boring art forms”.

Listen to the podcast:


 

 
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Good Stories and Great Dreams: Gcina Mhlophe Describes Her Hopes for Young South Africans (Video)

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of AfricaHave You Seen Zandile?
Love ChildOur Story MagicHi Zoleka!Haai Zoleka!

 
Gcina Mhlophe, actress and storyteller, was recently interviewed by Jennifer Sanasie for News 24.

Mhlophe, who had just given a talk to a group of young people, told Sanasie about how “honoured and humbled” she is to hear about how her work has affected and inspired her audience, and says she is “so excited to see and hear what young people are doing in South Africa today”.

She goes on to speak about the importance of young people being allowed to express their dreams, disappointments and good stories.

Watch the video:

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Gcina Mhlophe’s 57th Birthday Celebrated with Friends and Fans (Video)

Haai Zoleka!Hi Zoleka!Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika
Have You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story Magic

 
Gcina Mhlophe recently celebrated her 57th birthday at an event hosted by Newtown Junction.

Friends shared birthday messages, and many people who have been inspired and entertained by the beloved storyteller joined in to wish her well.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka complimented her as a “good-hearted person”, and said she didn’t know her own age. Poets Zaide Hearnecker and Natalia Molebatsi added their well-wishes, as did a host of musicians with whom Mhlope has worked.

Watch the video of personal birthday messages for Mhlophe:

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The celebration included photo opportunities, the chance to write a birthday message, and plenty of singing by Mhlophe and others.

Watch the video:

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Image courtesy of Motivation Speakers Bookings


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Don’t Miss World Religions in Concert Featuring Gcina Mhlophe in Durban

Umcelo Nezindaba Zase-AfrikaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaStories of Africa
Have You Seen Zandile?Love ChildOur Story Magic

 
Gcina Mhlophe, storyteller and author, will be part of World Religions in Concert, taking place at the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban on Monday, 9 November, at 6:30 for 7 PM.

The concert is a celebration of Durban’s vibrant and diverse interfaith community. It commemorates the centenary of the birth of Denis Hurley, who served as bishop and archbishop of Durban between 1947 to 1992.

Artslink has published more details about the event:

The concert has been thoughtfully created to commemorate Hurley’s legacy, to celebrate the opening of the DHC and to demonstrate the role of the faith communities in working together on this project. The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra, which has graciously supported this project, will be conducted by Naum Rousine. They will be joined by the Clermont Community and Emmanuel Cathedral Choirs and noted performers including a Buddhist drumming group from Johannesburg; storyteller Gcina Mhlophe and her daughter Kwezi Becker; acclaimed opera singers Linda Bukhosini and Bongani Tembe; violinist and KZNPOs concert master, Joanna Frankel and opera singer Raphael Vilakazi. They will be joined by children of the six different faith groups represented in this event. (African Traditional, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim).

The concert begins as the sun sets with the traditional sunset call to prayer from the neighbouring Juma Mosque; with a response from the church bells; followed by Buddhist and Zulu drums and orchestral pieces of Jewish and Hindu music; Muslim chanting and Christian and African choral pieces will all combine to show the richness of Durban’s musical and religious heritage.

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Sindiwe Magona’s isiXhosa Translation of Stories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe Included on 2015 IBBY SA Honour Roll

Sindiwe Magona

 
Alert! Sindiwe Magona’s translation of Stories of Africa by Gcina Mhlophe has been included on the 2015 International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) SA honour roll.

During an event held in Pinelands last week, the South African section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY SA) announced their honour roll, which will all be presented at the IBBY World Congress in New Zealand next year. During the run-up to this event these books, six in total, will all be exhibited around the world at conferences and book fairs, and form part of permanent collections in some of the biggest international youth libraries.

Magona is recognised in the category “Translator: into isiXhosa” for her formidable translation of Mhlophe’s folk tales to Umcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika.

Stories of AfricaUmcelo Neentsomi Zase-Afrika

 
Books LIVE was present at the announcement of Magona’s inclusion on the IBBY SA honour roll and have transcribed her acceptance speech:

To say that I am ecstatic would be an understatement.

I bitch a lot about translation, especially of children’s books that are sometimes totally and completely ignored. I remember a book I found in IBBY some years ago when I first retired and returned to South Africa. I found a book published in the states, and that book didn’t make it in Xhosa. I saw the book, I read the book and it had been shredded, or whatever.

Translation is important, and especially I think now in this country. I feel that the translation of children’s books could be part of our nation-building. It shouldn’t be that 20 years and more into the new dispensation children are still divided according to linguistic affiliations. I feel that Gcina Mhlophe’s book – which I translated from English to isiXhosa – those folktales should be available to all the children of South Africa. I grew up with Xhosa folktales, which I enjoyed. But I feel that English speaking children, children who speak Afrikaans as a mother tongue, Sesotho, Tswane, should all enjoy those folktales. I enjoyed Gcina’s tales in isiZulu when I could understand them translated into English.

I feel this is something that we – it is just a wish and a hope and a prayer – that we should be knitting a South African literature, especially for the young.

The previous translator who was here, who translates into Afrikaans [Kobus Geldenhuys], said something: What do you translate, and how do you translate it? Obviously you have the text in the original language, which you must then transport to the target language. You need to translate the story. You need to translate the sentiments, the joy, whatever is there, even the grief. Do you do it literarily, or do you do it poetically, or is it a marriage of the two? These are some of the decisions you have to make as a translator.

I love language, and for the benefit and for the pleasure of being reasonably steeped in both languages, isiXhosa and English. I am not a mother tongue English speaker, I don’t fool myself, but I have enough understanding and have used it enough, have studied it enough that I more or less control it, as much as one can be almost mother tongue. But know that there are things that one cannot translate … and you have to be respectful in dealing with someone else’s work. That you honour them, so that the person who reads the book in Xhosa does not begin by understanding that this is a translation. Translation should be hidden! You shouldn’t leave a big footprint a translator! It should read as an original for the person who is going to read the new work.

I would hate for anybody reading a book I translated to say, “Oh, this is what is must have said in English”. No. No. If your works looks like “this is what it must have been” then it is literal, and the person who is reading it in the target language should derive as much pleasure and respect for the person who created the original work. That shouldn’t be lost! You are serving not just the audience, you also serving the creator of the work. I think for me this is both a burden and an honour, and that is what I try to do.

I am very happy to get this recognition. I did not even know that such things existed, but I am happy to receive it.

2015 IBBY SA Honour Roll announcement
IBBY SA Honour List 2015-2016

 

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Helené Prinsloo tweeted live from the announcement:


 

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Press release

IBBY SA is the South African national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), an international body with 74 national sections around the world.

IBBY SA is pleased to announce that the following books have been selected for the IBBY Honour List to be presented at the IBBY World Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2016 as having made a special contribution to recent South African literature for children and young people:

Author: Afrikaans
Fanie Viljoen: Uit (LAPA Uitgewers, Pretoria) – for making it easy for all teenagers to experience and emphathise with a young man’s growing realisation of his sexual orientation

Author: English
Charmaine Kendal: Miscast (Junkets Publisher, Cape Town) – for its sensitive exploration of the inner journey of a trans boy; probably the first South African teen novel about transgender

Translator: into Afrikaans
Kobus Geldenhuys: Hoe om jou draak te tem (Protea Boekhuis, Stellenbosch) translated from Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon – for capturing the spirit and sense of the fantastical in his translation

Translator: into isiXhosa
Sindiwe Magona: Umculo neentsomi zase-Afrika (University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg) translated from Gcina Mhlophe’s Stories of Africa – for transmitting the magic of the original folktales so faithfully

Translator: into Sesotho
Selloane Khosi: Baile le Moketa (Jacana Media, Johannesburg), translated from Gerard Sekoto’s Shorty and Billy Boy – for a clear and lively version of the 1973 story of Sekoto’s, only recently published for the first time.

Illustrator:
Dale Blankenaar: Olinosters op die dak / Rhinocephants on the roof by Marita van der Vyver (NB Publishers, Cape Town) – for his rendering of the eerily atmospheric world of the writing

The above announcements were made at an event hosted by IBBY SA at the SASNEV building in Pinelands, Cape Town, on Thursday 17 September 2015.

The announcements were made by Lona Gericke, former children’s librarian, former chair and vice-chair of IBBY SA, and a former member of the international Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury. She holds the Awards portfolio on the Executive Committee of IBBY SA. IBBY SA’s current Chairperson Professor Genevieve Hart handed over the certificates.

Five of the six people nominated were able to attend the event and receive their IBBY SA certificates in person. Likewise, five of the six publishers involved were the happy recipients of IBBY SA certificates.

“We are really glad that the six categories were spread among six different publishers,” said Lona Gericke. “It means that more and more publishers are doing excellent work in the field of literature for children and young people.”

Is there anything especially noteworthy about this year’s Honour List nominees? “Isn’t it striking,” commented Genevieve Hart, “that the two ‘Author’-category nominees have both written books about sexual diversity? It is a very significant area of teenager experience, and one welcomes such careful and sensitive treatments.”

What lies ahead for these six books? Copies have been despatched to the head office of IBBY in Basle, Switzerland. At next year’s IBBY World Congress they will be on display, will appear in the Honour List of Books brochure, and will be the subject of a screened presentation in a plenary session of the Congress, after which they will move on to be displayed at the famous Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

So, the recognition and the exposure for these writers, translators and illustrators could be very significant for their careers.

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Join Gcina Mhlophe for a Special Women’s Day Performance of My Travelling Bag in Durban

Have You Seen Zandile?Umcelo Neentsomi Zase-AfrikaLove ChildOur Story MagicStories of Africa

 
Artslink and the Rhumbelow Theatre in Durban invite you to a special Woman’s Day performance, “My Travelling Bag” by Gcina Mhlophe.

The show will take the form of a picnic dinner and will take place twice on Monday, 10 August. The first performance will start at 2 PM and the second will start at 6:30 PM. Tickets are available from Computicket and cost R120 per person and R100 for pensioners.

In “My Travelling Bag” Mhlophe will reflect on “33 years of suitcases bought, stamps in her passports, friendships, missed flights, mementos and memories”.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

 
Press release:

From a very young age I got to travel all over my home province, KwaZulu-Natal. From my hometown Hammarsdale to Port Shepstone, to Dundee, to Nongoma, it all seemed like such faraway places. I thought I was the most widely young person ever. It felt great!

But my beloved grandmother, Gogo, sounded a word of warning: “There is a bigger world out there.” Those were wise words indeed. How very prophetic too. In the past 33 years I have been blessed to travel the length and breadth of this amazing world. The number of suitcases I have bought, the stamps in my passports, amazing friendships. Oh the amazing experiences the countless mementos and memories that fill my head like an enchanted African forest. The amazing theatres, long hours at international airports, delayed flights, the many cultures and frustrating times filled with fear and homesickness.

But nothing can top the joy of sharing the stories of my people on world stages, the magical universality of these stories, proving once and for all that people are more alike than different. In my travelling bag there are all the 33 years of international travelling. But they can only be told and shared, one bowl at a time.

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Jeff Opland: Contemporary Praise Poets are Losing the Right to Censure Leadership with Impunity

William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembaliDLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali ZamanyangeJeff Opland is regarded as an authority on Xhosa poetry and was recently quoted in an article about praise poets by Setumo-Thebe Mohlomi for the Mail & Guardian.

Opland, who is also the editor of William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali: Xhosa histories and poetry (1873–1888) and DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange: Historical Poems, comments on the changing role of the praise poet figure in South African society.

The praise poet function traditionally functions as a voice of the people, but Opland says that this function is changing in contemporary politics:

Historically, a praise poet would come up through the ranks and become an official praise poet partly by gaining the support of the leader’s subjects. Part of the licence and responsibility of the official role was the right to censure the leadership without the fear of recourse.

According to Opland, the praise poet “had the privilege of criticising the chief with impunity. His criticism was never intended to stir up dissent or dissatisfaction, but rather to express popular opinion.” In turn, the leader would draw the praise poet close, in part because of the poet’s ability to praise the leader lyrically.

Things are very different in South Africa today and the annual opening of Parliament is an unwelcome reminder of the praise singer’s turn for the worse. This year, as on many other occasions, the praise singer was selected without the active participation of the citizenry.

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Discover DLP Yali-Manisi, the Legendary Xhosa Imbongi Who Died in Obscurity

 
DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali ZamanyangeWilliam Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembaliUKZN Press has shared the introduction from Volume 2 of The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature, DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange: Historical Poems.

The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature, edited by Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko, contains research into Xhosa folklore, especially praise poetry, and the history of Xhosa literature.

It includes field recordings of Xhosa poets (1969–85), books and pamphlets in isiXhosa, and copies of literature published in ephemera.

The Publications Series recognises works previously unrecognised or unavailable as published books.

The first two volumes in the series, William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali and DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange: Historical Poems, were published in early 2015.
 
Read an excerpt from Volume 1:

 
Read the excerpt from Volume 2:

Introduction to DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange: Historical Poems by Books LIVE

 

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Discover a Legendary Xhosa Man of Letters in an Excerpt from William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe Esinembali

William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembaliDLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali ZamanyangeUKZN Press has shared the introduction from Volume 1 of The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature, William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali: Xhosa histories and poetry (1873–1888).

The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature, edited by Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko, is the academic library Opland assembled in the course of his research into Xhosa folklore, especially praise poetry, and the history of Xhosa literature.

Its contents include field recordings of Xhosa poets (1969–85), books and pamphlets in isiXhosa, and copies of literature published in ephemera. The Publications Series draws on material in the Collection, and presents diplomatic editions with English translations of significant works in isiXhosa, for the most part previously unrecognised or unavailable as published books.

The first two volumes in the series, William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali and DLP Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange: Historical Poems, were published in early 2015.

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Read the excerpt:

Introduction from William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe esinembali: Xhosa histories and poetry (1873–1888) by Books LIVE

 

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