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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Afrikaans is one of the fastest growing languages in South Africa: Linguist Kerry Jones explains

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture DictionaryKerry Jones, co-author of the award-winning Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary, spoke to News24 recently, dispelling the notion that Afrikaans is an endangered language.

When asked, “Would you consider Afrikaans an endangered language?”, Jones has a firm answer at the ready:

Absolutely not. Absolutely not. If you look at the national census data you will will see that Afrikaans is one of the fastest growing languages in South Africa. It is one of our youngest, it’s around 300 years old, but it is one of the fastest growing languages. Not only as a mother tongue, but as an additional language. People are speaking Afrikaans as a lingua franca; it is used as a second, third and fourth language; it’s a language of employment; it’s a language of education; it’s also a language of media and literacy.

So it is by no stretch of the imagination disappearing and it spreads well beyond our borders. There are even large Afrikaans-speaking communities in Argentina and New Zeeland, so it’s definitely not only a South African flavour.

Jones, a linguistics specialist from African Tongue Professional Linguistic Consultancy, which specialises in minority African languages – especially Khoe and San – is currently working on a PHD in intergenerational language transfer. Watch the interview to see how she became interested in this topic and how she came to write Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary:

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UKZN Press congratulates Kobus Moolman on winning the prestigious Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry

Kobus Moolman

A Book of RoomsUKZN Press author Kobus Moolman is the winner of the 2015 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry.

Moolman was awarded the prestigious prize for his latest collection, A Book of Rooms, published by Deep South Publishing, and distributed by UKZN Press.

Hearty congratulations to Moolman!

About the book

A Book of Rooms, Kobus Moolman’s new collection of poetry, deepens the explorations of his recent books Light and After and Left Over. While their Beckett-like sparseness and doggedness is still there, A Book of Rooms moves into a realist-biographical narrative form. Arranged in physically dense scenes described as ‘rooms’, it inhabits the childhood and young adulthood of a man with a serious physical disability growing up in a grim family environment in the final years of the white side of apartheid. The reader is compelled immediately into the character’s bleak and constant meetings with pain and failure. Yet inside this present-tense current can be felt a powerful will to live, sharp flashes of humour – and an even more powerful drive to know the truth.

Critical comments on Moolman’s two previous books:

“The reader is constantly located in the artist’s body negotiating between the physical space of bricks and mortar, and the inner, imagined reality which is a shifting, unreliable space … The highlight of this collection is the third section, entitled “Anatomy” … an extended meditation on the body as the place of fragmentation and reconnection, depersonalistion and reintegration … searing, honest and brave, opening to the reader in progressively intimate revelations that enable one to experience firsthand the narrator’s visceral reality.”

Liesl Jobson reviewing Light and After (2011) in FMR Book Choice 2011

“Working through a Moolman volume is both a rewarding and exhausting experience … However in a country where poems are too often simply sound-bites for fleeting perceptions and states of mind, [...] Moolman moves into a different space entirely, and has taken a much more difficult and honest path. The reader will emerge from this poetry chastened but delighted. They are works of acumen, depth and extraordinary pressure.”

Kelwyn Sole reviewing Left Over (2013) in New Coin, June 2014

About the author

Kobus Moolman is the author of seven collections of poetry, and several plays. He has won almost every poetry prize offered in South Africa: the Ingrid Jonker prize, the PANSA award, the South African Literary Award, the DALRO poetry prize and the Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry award. He teaches creative writing at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Find out more about influential isiZulu author Nakanjani G Sibiya, editor of Amagalelo

AmagaleloNakanjani G Sibiya is the author and editor of a number of isiZulu books across various genres.

He has published five volumes of short stories, four dramas and is the editor or co-author of seven anthologies of short stories.

Sibiya’s debut collection of short stories, Ikusasa Eliqhakazile, won the JL Dube Award for Prose, and in 2003 he was awarded the M-Net Book Prize for his debut novel Kuxolelwa Abanjani?

In 2004 Kuxolelwa Abanjani? also received the BW Vilakazi Prize, the most prestigious award for isiZulu literature.

Sibiya holds a PhD from the University of Zululand and works as an editor and lecturer. His most recent book is Amagalelo.

Manie Groenewald’s article “Theme, plot and narration in the novels of NG Sibiya”, published in the South African Journal of African Languages, examines Sibiya’s impact on isiZulu literature:

Nakanjani G Sibiya has made a considerable contribution to isiZulu literature. In this article his two novels, Kuxolelwa abanjani? and Bengithi lizokuna, which can be typified as moral stories, are analysed according to selected aspects of narratology. The moral story seeks to expose immoral deeds and to show that these deeds have dire consequences for individuals, families and the community. Although Sibiya creates multiple story lines – this is especially true of Kuxolelwa abanjani? – he manages to link them in order to unify the story. The author’s use of analepses (‘flashbacks’) and postponement of the answer avoid monotonous chronological narration and serve to complete the story. While ironic situations and coincidences are meant to emphasise the consequences of immoral deeds, they too add interest to the reading experience. The author also employs various narrative techniques to enhance the reading experience. Although instances of unreliability occur in the two novels, Sibiya has enriched isiZulu literature with these two novels; this is mainly due to his ability to write narrative prose that captivates the reader. He has also captivated the reader with the novel topic of homosexuality and transsexuality in Bengithi lizokuna.

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Zuma and Buthelezi Pay Tribute to Struggle Stalwart and Nobel Peace Laureate Albert Luthuli

Zuma with Daughter of Albert Luthuli

Albert LuthuliCommemorating the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chief Albert Luthuli, President Jacob Zuma gave a heart-felt memorial lecture at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban last week.

Paying tribute to Luthuli’s achievements and service to his country, President Zuma made it a point to note that, while Luthuli was not the architect of MK, as a member and leader of the ANC, he supported the decisions made by the party as a collective – a contention that Scott Couper, author of Albert Luthuli: Bound by Faith, might find somewhat problematic. Read more of the speech below:

We have come together on this special evening to celebrate the service to humanity of a man who left an indelible mark in our lives and our history, Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli.

This memorial lecture affords us the opportunity to celebrate the life and teachings of Chief Luthuli not only as an ANC leader, but also as a leader beyond the confines of the congress movement.

He made himself available to serve in many community structures, in various capacities.

He is known as a traditional leader, lay preacher, devoted Christian, teacher, college choirmaster, sports and cultural activist.

The fact that he was also a sugar cane farmer and led the Sugar Cane Growers Association proves his belief that you cannot divorce political emancipation from economic emancipation.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s Address at Launch of Albert Luthuli: Bound by Faith

Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Following in the spirit of the President’s Memorial Lecture, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi shared some of his own history with and fond memories of Chief Albert Luthuli at the November 27th launch of Bound by Faith:

From the time of my birth, I was taken straight from Ceza Hospital to the Palace of my uncle, King Solomon ka Dinuzulu, KwaDlamahlahla Palace. My uncle died at the young age of 40 years. My younger uncle, Prince Mshiyeni ka Dinuzulu, became Regent during the interregnum.

During the interregnum, many Zulu gatherings called izimbizo were held at the Regent’s Residence at KwaSokesimbone. Many important men attended these imbizos, and at other times just visited the Regent. Among these important men were my uncle Dr Pixley ka Isaka Seme, the founder of the ANC, the Reverend Dr Langalibalele Dube, the first President of the ANC, and Dr Edgar Brookes, the Senator who represented the Zulu Nation in the South African Senate and Principal of Adams College. The Rev. Dube and Dr Edgar Brookes were sometimes in the company of Inkosi of Abasemakholweni in Groutville, Inkosi Albert Mvumbi Luthuli.

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Images courtesy Presidency Flickr Photostream and PoliticsWeb

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Book Launch (Durban): Race Trouble: Race, Identity and Inequality in Post-apartheid South Africa

Race Trouble - Launch Invite

Race TroubleUKZN Press and Adams Books invite you to the launch of Race Trouble: Race, Identity and Inequality in Post-apartheid South Africa.

Race Trouble provides an analysis of the racial situation in post-apartheid South Africa and makes an argument for a shift in focus in the social sciences, from racism to a more nuanced look at “race trouble”. Instead of making judgements of racism, this innovative and accessible book confronts the ways that we “do race” in our everyday interactions.

Kopano Ratele will be the guest speaker for the evening. See you there!

Event Details

Book Details

  • Race Trouble: Race, Identity and Inequality in Post-apartheid South Africa by Kevin Durrheim, Xoliswa Mtose, Lyndsay Brown
    EAN: 9781869141998

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Maureen Isaacson on Manhood’s “Comeuppance” in the Novels of Siphiwo Mahala and Thando Mgqolozana

Siphiwo Mahala and Thando Mgqolozana

Maureen Isaacson takes a look at Siphiwo Mahala‘s When a Man Cries and Thando Mgqolozana‘s A Man Who is Not a Man, two novels that deal with sensitive areas in Xhosa men’s lives: male circumcision, incest and other taboos. When a Man Cries tells the story of a Xhosa man’s struggle with the standards of masculinity imposed upon him by his culture and Mgqolozana’s contoversial novel details the pain and humiliation of a botched circumcision. Mahala recently translated his novel back into Xhosa, published under the title, Yakhal’ Indoda:

A Man Who is Not a ManWhen a Man CriesYakhal' Indoda

Masculinity, the “manhood” that is blind in its complexity, has its comeuppance. This is spelt out in dramatic ways in When a Man Cries, Siphiwo Mahala’s debut novel, now “translated” back into Xhosa by himself as Yakhal’ Indoda. Both are published by UKZN Press.

This translation warrants a celebration not only because it is time that writers have to make the choice about whether to write in the language in which they feel and dream.

It is welcome because Mahala depicts the ravaging effects of “manliness”. Its monstrous nature is revealed in the life of Themba Limba. He has remained steadfastly loyal to the great imperative of masculinity imposed by his Xhosa culture: a man must not cry.

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Coming Soon from UKZN Press: The isiXhosa Edition of Siphiwo Mahala’s When a Man Cries, Yakhal’ Indoda

Yakhal' IndodaUKZN Press is delighted to announce a new work in translation: Siphiwo Mahala‘s When a Man Cries will soon be out in Xhosa, as Yakhal’ Indoda.

Themba Limba is an honourable man who respects the culture of his people – a man who is recognised for making a valuable contribution to society and held in high esteem by the entire community of Sekunjalo.

But because the heart is a deceiver and eyes can be blinded by temptations, he turns his back on the cultural teachings and forgets that ‘a ripe fig is often full of worms inside’. His downfall is his simmering appetite for sexual conquests, where he finds himself chasing the skirts of Dolly, Thando and Nosipho.

He loses his dignity; even birds laugh at him; he is downtrodden. Will shedding tears help him? If one takes into consideration all the strong partriarchal philosophies associated with the black traditional and modern society, it is normally expected that a man should never cry.

Yakhal’ Indoda the Xhosa ‘translation’ of When a Man Cries has been described as an excellent rendering of the story. Using simple language and a casual style, the story flows freely and reads very easily.

About the author

Siphiwo Mahala was born in Grahamstown and studied at the University of Fort Hare, Alice, where he obtained a degree in literature. He completed an MA degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. His short stories appear in different anthologies locally and internationally. When a Man Cries (2007) received the Ernst van Heerden Creative Writing Award. He is currently the head of books and publishing at the national Department of Arts and Culture.

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SAMA Best Children’s Album Award Goes to Gcina Mhlophe for Songs and Stories of Africa

Songs and Stories of AfricaStories of AfricaGcina Mhlophe’s Songs and Stories of Africa: An Audio CD has been awarded the SAMA Best Children’s Album in the English category!

The second audio edition of this wonderful CD collection of stories, narrated by South Africa’s most popular performance storyteller, in her inimitable style, is drawn from her well known book Stories of Africa. In addition, there are a number of songs, most of them written by Gcina Mhlophe (with the exception of “Imfene emthini – Baboon in the tree”, a well known traditional children’s song).

For some of the vocals on this CD, Gcina is joined by her daughter, Nomakhwezi Becker, as well as members of the Children’s Choir from Entakemazolo H.P. School in Hammarsdale (a rural area in KwaZulu-Natal).

In Gcina’s words: “I love sharing my songs and stories with others. But my favourite way of relating them is the ancient way of my people – telling them face to face, in front of a live audience. Oh the thrill of seeing faces reacting to what you are saying, of feeling the energy go from the storyteller and back again! I hope that this CD will carry some of that thrill to you, the listener, and that you, too, will feel a story or a song awaken inside you and find yourself wishing to tell it to others. Yes you! Because every living being has a story to tell. So let’s keep passing on the magic.”

Congratulations to her!

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UKZN Press Congratulates Mxolisi Nyezwa on Winning the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry (Plus: Video)

Mxolisi Nyezwa

New CountryUKZN Press congratulates its author, Mxolisi Nyezwa, who was announced as the winner of the English Academy’s Thomas Pringle Award for poetry earlier this week.

Nyezwa is author of the collection New Country, published by the Press earlier this year. You can read a sample from New Country here.

More from the Daily Dispatch and The Herald (plus: watch a video of Nyezwa reading at the second link):

MXOLISI Nyezwa, of New Brighton in Port Elizabeth, won the 2009 Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry.

The announcement was made by Pringle Award chief adjudicator Dr Amitabh Mitra, of the East London Hospital Complex, at the Book SA Ban’quet last Saturday.

Nyezwa, author of New Country, was awarded R2 000.

“I am very grateful for the recognition of my work,” said Nyezwa, who also received an award from Rhodes University this year.

The interior of his tidy office in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth contrasts sharply with its appearance from the outside – a blue container among the shacks which dominate the area.

“From here I am fighting for the preservation of black poetry”, said Nyezwa, who has devoted his life to poetry, writing and teaching other people how to do so.

“Writing is a way to come to terms with contradictions people experience in every day life,” he said, pointing to the children playing with refuse bags outside.

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Thanks to Amitabh Mitra, chair of the Thomas Pringle Award for poetry, for the helpful links

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New Publisher for UKZN Press

UKZN Press Team: Trish Comrie, Adele Branch, Elana Bregin, Debra Primo, Leslie Goddard and Glenn Cowley

UKZN PRESS is pleased to announce the appointment of Debra Primo (centre, with blue folder) as the new Publisher as from 1 July 2009. She brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge of the academic publishing industry.

Debra matriculated from Paterson Senior Secondary School in Port Elizabeth. She completed an undergraduate B.A. degree at UWC, and an LL.B. at UNISA. She started her career teaching Sociology at Khanya College in Cape Town, and then moved into the publishing industry.

Debra’s publishing career started at Juta Law in 1998, with publishing legal texts – left for a brief two year stint to join Heinemann to gain experience in educational publishing – and then rejoined Juta Law until July 2009.

The Press is grateful to Glenn Cowley’s contribution over the years, and wishes him well for the future.

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