23 September 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Charl Devenish
Best dressed winner
The winners of the best dressed social media competition with Earl B (third from the left).

On 18 September 2019, the University of the Free State (UFS) hosted its first ever Multilingual Festival in an effort to promote a multilingual and multicultural environment for staff, students, and all stakeholders of the university. 

Staff, students, and other stakeholders of the university dressed in imibaco (traditional Xhosa apparel) ranging from white, yellow, red, and green, Diaparo tsa setso sa Sesotho, and traditional attire from other cultural tribes including Zulu, Swati, Ndebele, and Tswana, to name a few, were treated to various forms of celebration. The festival entailed visual-art displays, poetry, storytelling, drama, music, and song in the dominant languages spoken at the UFS, which are English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiZulu, and South African Sign Language, and food stalls selling dishes ranging from pap and braaivleis to koeksisters and milk tart. 

The audience were treated to short stories, including Magic on campus, written by Siphilangenkosi Dlamini and performed by Oliver Bongo; Xola Nhliziyo, written by Noluthando Portia Khumalo and performed by Ayanda Khanyile; and Grense, written by Joane Jansen van Rensburg. Nina and Palesa compiled a drama piece titled WTF is a relationship, poems included Mohlomong, written by Thabiso Lesaba and Lucky Mokeona, and Mosadi, written by Relumetse Makhatsane, N’kone Mametja, Abby Gabarone-Phate and Ayanda Khanyile.

Attendants had the opportunity to participate and win cash prizes ranging from R500 to R1 000 in various competitions and performances that took place during celebrations at the multilingual festival.

The winners for the mokete festivities are as follows:
Best artwork – Elaine Mahlalela and Kamogelo Mankuroane
Best short story – Siphilangenkosi Dlamini: Magic on Campus
Best poem – Thabiso Leshaba: Mohlomong
Best drama piece – Nina and Palesa

The best-dressed moketers for the 2019 #KovsiesMultilingualMokete were Joseph Sako, Evodia Mohoanyane, Karabo Lekomanyane, Tshepo Ramokoatsi, and Lungelo Mthimkhulu, who each walked away with R500 for their efforts to dress up and stick to the multicultural theme. Soet-Bravado (House Soetdoring and House Villa Bravado) won the most votes for their performance in the People’s Choice category, claiming R1 000 each. 

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