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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. 

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Newton Fellow at UFS focuses on land and labour
2017-10-28

Description: ' 000 Rory Pilossof Tags: Rory Pilossof 

Dr Rory Pilossof
Photo: Charl Devenish

Dr Rory Pilossof is a senior lecturer in economics at the University of the Free State (UFS), a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Studies Group at UFS, and a Research Fellow at the University of Kent in the UK.

He became interested in his research field when he studied land reform and land issues in Zimbabwe for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. From there, his research interests have expanded to look at other issues connected to land, such as whiteness and labour.

Dr Pilossof's study field links up with the important issue of land reform in Southern Africa due to its past colonialism and post-colonial politics of land and land ownership. These intersect with a wide range of labour issues that are pressing in the region. He has a keen interest in elite transitions and changes in economic structure in Southern Africa since the 1960s.

Dr Pilossof was nominated to the South African Young Academy of Science in 2017, and received an NRF Y1 rating during 2017. He is also a member of the Amsterdam-based International Institute for Social History’s ‘Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations’. He is a participant in the Leverhulme Trust-funded initiative ‘Comparative History of Political Engagement in Western and African Societies Programme’ at the University of Sheffield.

Dr Pilossof's primary research focuses on issues of land, labour and changing social and economic structures in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is also interested in finding alternative ways of looking at change. To this end, he has studied various newspapers and periodicals in the region.

Currently, he spends most of his research time as part of a three-year British Academy-funded Advanced Newton Fellowship into labour relations and occupational structures. In future, he wants to expand his research in the labour field by looking at labour and migration in the region over the course of the 20th century.

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