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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

Summer programme a first outside Austria
2012-12-06

 

Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister of Science and Technology
Foto: Johan Roux

05 Desember 2012

People often fight about their differences, like skin colour, religion and more. “These differences are minute. We must celebrate our common ancestry and commit ourselves to a common destiny. Your work can make a difference.” This is according to Mr Derek Hanekom, Minister of Science and Technology.

He opened the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) at the Bloemfontein Campus on Sunday 2 December 2012. The UFS is the first institution outside Austria to host the Summer Programme. A total of 19 young researchers from 17 countries will be hosted by the UFS until 28 February 2013. Researchers in the programme are, among others, from South Africa, Egypt, China, Italy, Sweden, Iran, Hungary, India, the USA and Indonesia.

The programme will form part of an annual three-month education, academic training and research capacity-building programme jointly organised by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), based in Austria, the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). IIASA is an international research organisation that conducts policy-oriented scientific research in the three global problem areas of energy and climate change, food and water and poverty and equity. South Africa’s engagements with IIASA, specifically with regard to the SA-YSSP, relate primarily to the DST’s Ten-Year Innovation Plan.

Mr Hanekom spoke about the impact the growing global population, which is expected to grow from 7 billion in 2012 to 9 billion in 2050, has on natural resources. “We use purified water to flush our toilets while other people do not have clean drinking water. We cannot carry on like this. Somewhere it must stop, if we do not want to be responsible for the 6th great extinction. We must know how our systems impact on each other.

“We can do things differently and better and should endeavour that other people enjoy luxuries we take for granted,” he said.

He urged the researchers to believe that they can make a difference, share knowledge and translate the knowledge into plans.

Prof. Dr Pavel Kabat, Director/CEO of IIASA, said the summer programme was presented outside Austria for the first time, with plans to expand to Brazil and China in future. Twenty countries are represented on the IIASA board, with more than 3 000 researchers associated with the organisation.

IIASA was launched in 1972 in the days of the Cold War as a “science bridge” between the West and the Soviet Union. It served as a “think tank” for various issues that needed to be resolved. Its mission was reconfirmed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

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