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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

DF Malan – the politician, the man and Lindie Koorts’ award behind it
2014-04-30

 
Lindie Koorts
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. In this case, it is not only true, but fact is stirring up more of a buzz than make-belief does.

The first biography of an apartheid Prime Minister written since 1994, won an award at the 2014 Woordfees. ‘DF Malan and the Rise of Afrikaner Nationalism’ is the title of the book causing this national whirlwind. The author: Lindie Koorts – a postdoctoral fellow at the UFS’s Centre for Africa Studies.

She admits she was among the most surprised when she won the category for Debut Writers. “This is, as far as I know, the first time this prize goes to a non-fiction writer,” Koorts said.

What started as curiosity around DF Malan, four years later culminated in an objective biography devoid of justification or exoneration. “Throughout the process of writing, I offer the facts, but I do not clamber in with moralistic judgements,” Koorts said.

In addition to Malan the politician, Koorts discovered Malan the human being as well during her research. When she stumbled on his hand-written love letters to Maria Louw, which he wrote when he was in his 60s, a totally different man emerged. “I felt like a teenager while reading those letters!” Koorts laughed.

In the chapter entitled Coalition and Fusion, this dynamic historian unearthed a fact that had the power to change the course of history. Up until this point, the belief was held that one party deceived another. However, Koorts’ research proves that the entire issue rested on a letter that did not arrive on time. A case of tardy train schedules and a mere misunderstanding.

“To be able to unravel these things makes one feel that you have succeeded in something,” she said.

Not only did she succeed in writing an award-winning biography, she surely will be making history as she goes.

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