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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

New SADC Groundwater Management Institute will strengthen UFS footprint in Africa
2015-07-30

Prof Danie Vermeulen
Photo: Anja Aucamp

The new SADC Groundwater Management Institute (SADC GMI) will be fully operational in 2016, says Prof Danie Vermeulen, Head of the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) at the University of the Free State.

The SADC GMI will have its offices in the IGS building on the Bloemfontein Campus. The UFS will be responsible for the financial side of the operation. The IGS, SADC member states, and the World Bank are co-operating on this project, which will build sustainable groundwater management across regional borders.  Universities in the region tendered for the project, but the proposal by the IGS towered above the rest, Prof Vermeulen says.

The SADC GMI will strengthen the capacity of institutions to establish sustainable groundwater management. It will promote the management and development of groundwater infrastructures, and advance knowledge about national and trans-boundary groundwater. With the establishment of the new institute, research will be conducted, knowledge shared, and capacity built.

Prof Vermeulen says research has shown that groundwater is a primary source of water for more than 70% of the 250 million people in the drought-prone SADC region. The rapid expansion of commercial farming and industry is putting great pressure on water resources; 67% of all water is used in agriculture.

The new institute is an important instrument for the UFS to strengthen its footprint in Africa.  “The SADC GMI is about distributing knowledge across the SADC region. It is important for the UFS to extend into Africa. The official collaboration between the UFS, the World Bank, and the SADC countries enables us to reach the goal,” Prof Vermeulen says.

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