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13 March 2018 Photo Edwin Mthimkhulu
Solomon Mahlangu inspires UFS alumnus first Sesotho book
Ace Moloi questions and delves into the concept of freedomin Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho

Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho is the title of Ace Moloi’s anthology of short stories and the name of one of the 14 stories in the book. The anthology is the first book in Sesotho published by the three-time author.

On Friday, 16 March 2018, Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho, an Art Fusion Literature product, will make its debut public appearance during a public reading at the University of the Free State’s Equitas Auditorium at 17:30.

Moloi’s first literary offering was In Her Fall Rose A Nation which was published in 2013 during his final-year as a Communication Science student at the university. In 2016, Moloi published Holding My Breath, which was praised widely for stirring emotions in readers who related to the heart-wrenching narrative of losing a mother. It was only this year that the author managed to achieve his teenage goal of establishing himself as a vernacular author.

Solomon Mahlangu, an African National Congress freedom fighter and Umkhonto we Sizwe militant who was convicted of murder and hanged in 1979, was the inspiration behind the anthology. Mahlangu inspired the Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho story, which is the story of the selflessness of a captured guerrilla hero in the face of police torture and his eventual death by hanging. It represents Mahlangu and those who suffered during the struggle for liberation. 

“My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom,” are the supposed last words uttered by Mahlangu that inspired the book’s title. Tholwana Tsa Tokoloho means “the fruits of freedom” in Sesotho. For Moloi, writing in the vernacular symbolises the fruits of freedom. “I’m trying to write in a revolutionary spirit, in Sesotho, because we haven’t done that. We have not seriously interrogated political concepts in Sesotho or in any native language,” he said.

Graduate unemployment, violent crime, and sports are some of the other topics tackled in the book. These act as a catalyst for debates over the evidence of ‘the fruits of freedom’ in post-1994 South Africa. 

News Archive

Macufe Wordfest and UFS bring literary practitioners together
2017-10-18

Description: Macufe Wordfest  Tags: Macufe Wordfest
The Macufe Wordfest attracted language practitioners from
the Free State and Eastern Cape Province. From the left are:
Dr Elias Malete (UFS: African Languages),
Prof Johannes Malefetsane Lenake (honoured guest),
Nthabiseng Naketsana (Eastern Cape: Head of
Provincial Languages Services), Shoaneng Sefali
(Chairperson: Free State Writers Forum), Mariaan Otto
(Language Practitioner at FS government) and
Dr Mathene Abram Mahanke (Free State: Head of Provincial
Languages Services). Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

The University of the Free State (UFS) has a responsibility to advance good stakeholder relationships with public and government entities by creating opportunities for collaborative projects. According to Dr Elias Malete, Senior Lecturer and Academic Head at the Department of African Languages, this is why it is important for the UFS to be involved in projects such as Macufe Wordfest.

His department and the UFS Library, in collaboration with the Provincial Languages Services, hosted Wordfest on the Bloemfontein Campus as part of the Mangaung Cultural Festival. He says the main focus of the word festival, held from 4-6 October 2017 in the Economic and Management Sciences Auditorium, was to bring together literary practitioners from the Free State and Eastern Cape.

Prof Malefetsane Lenake honoured
“In this festival, budding authors have a platform to read their works to fellow practitioners, seasoned authors use their experience and expertise to assist budding and aspiring authors, and published authors have the opportunity to launch their new books,” says Dr Malete. 

Highlights included the recognition of longstanding, retired academic, Prof Johannes Malefetsane Lenake, for his contribution to the development of Sesotho, and the awarding of trophies to learners who wrote excellent essays in Sesotho, Setswana, isiXhosa and isiZulu about the life of OR Tambo.

First African Languages Writers Day
On 30 August 2017 various Sesotho writers’ organisations gathered at the UFS Sasol Library to celebrate the first African Languages Writers Day. It was hosted by Department of African Languages and the UFS library and mapped a way forward on ways to promote African Languages recognised by the Free State language policy.

The goal was to promote and preserve African languages, unearth writers, share ideas, and help to shape the future. Dr Malete says such events are important to ensure that UFS “is a people-centred institution where the educational and developmental needs of local communities are catered for”.

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