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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

Prof Hussein Solomon, an expert voice on Islam in Africa
2013-02-25

Prof Hussein Solomon
Photo: Supplied
25 February 2013

Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor in the Department Political Studies and Governance, has been appointed Senior Research Associate of the Israeli think tank Research on Islam and Muslims in Africa (RIMA). 

Prof Solomon will give an expert voice on the topic of Islam in Africa, participating with other researchers in the network on political Islam and terrorism on the African continent. The centre is the only one in the world which solely deals with Islam and Muslims in Africa.

An expert on the topic of Islam on the continent, Prof Solomon says it’s an important focus area given the rise of Al Shabab in Somalia and its terrorist attacks across the world. He further mentions the rise of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other such groups operating in Northern Mali, prompting the recent French intervention, as well as the increasing incidence of terrorism in Nigeria perpetrated by the Islamist Boko Haram.  "If you want to save lives, then you need to understand how such movements originated and how they operate."

The academic says through RIMA and its global network, he will work with other researchers and engage in collaborative research projects on the same issue, allowing for the rapid cross-pollination of ideas. "For the University of the Free State, it once more underscores the fact that, with the information age, you do not have to be in the capital of the country to be globally relevant. Indeed, in recent years the University of the Free State has increasingly been seen as a global actor in the academic arena."

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