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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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Make the right choices and you will succeed, Prof Jansen advises learners
2014-05-30

“You can make a choice today that will end up with you being pregnant, having babies, being unemployed, sitting at home like some of our brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. Or you can make a different decision – and that decision is about you working so hard that you earn entry into the University of the Free State, get your degree and become great, not only in South Africa, but in the world.”

This was the message from the UFS’s Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen, who addressed prospective Kovsies during our Open Day on the Qwaqwa Campus on Saturday 24 May 2014. Prof Jansen advised all learners to always make the right decisions.

“The first right decision is to pass well. You must go for 60%, 70% and 80% passes. Set yourself a target and do not just strive to pass, but to pass well,” Prof Jansen told a packed Rolihlahla Mandela Multi-purpose Hall, with learners coming from as far as Ficksburg, Lindley and Koppies.

“The second thing that you need to do, is to believe in yourself. Do not believe people who tell you what you can or cannot do. Believe in what you can do,” said Prof Jansen.

“Thirdly, you have to get up and do things for yourself. You have to work hard, sleep less and study hard. Don't accept excuses. If you can do these three things, then the best place to study is the University of the Free State. Believe that the sky is the limit.”

“We learned a very valuable lesson here today,” said Tumelo Mofokeng from Nkarabeng Secondary School in Kestell.

The fun-filled programme included performances and messages of encouragement from current students who have been part of the unique Leadership for Change Programme. This programme equips first-year students with skills to reflect, dialogue and engage on issues of diversity and leadership.

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