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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

First UFS/AS Young African Scholar Award winner announced
2016-03-10

Description: Fana Gebresenbet Erda Tags: Fana Gebresenbet Erda

Fana Gebresenbet Erda, winner of the first University of the Free State /Africa Spectrum Young African Scholar Award, for his research on political economy.
Photo: Supplied

Scholarship in African Studies still faces the challenge of capacity-building to increase ownership by authors and institutions from and on the African continent. It also requires more coordinated efforts to provide the space deserved by African authors in the international domain. In 2015, the University of the Free State (UFS) Centre for Africa Studies joined forces with Africa Spectrum (AS) in a bid to address this issue by establishing the UFS/AS Young African Scholar Award.

This award seeks to strengthen efforts to promote internationally recognised African scholarship in African Studies. One way to achieve this objective is through publishing articles by researchers based in Africa and in the diaspora in Africa Spectrum, an accredited journal compiled by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg.

The inaugural award winner

Fana Gebresenbet Erda, a PhD candidate in a Global and European Studies programme jointly offered by the University of Leipzig (Germany) and Addis Ababa University, wrote the winning article for 2015. He will receive a three-year affiliation to the UFS Centre for Africa Studies as a Research Fellow, along with prize money of R5 000, sponsored by the UFS.

His article, The Ethiopian Developmental State in Its Peripheral Lowlands: Large-Scale Land Acquisitions, the Politics of Dispossession and State Remaking in Gambella, Western Ethiopia, argues that development through large-scale land acquisitions in Gambella, Western Ethiopia, belies a state-remaking project under a dispossessive political economy.

Submission now open
Africa Spectrum invites scholars to submit research articles in the context of the award. In October of each year a review committee selects submissions for review. Those eligible to submit are postgraduate students nearing completion of their PhD theses and postdoctoral scholars who were awarded their PhDs no more than five years earlier at the time of the submission deadline. Those submitting should be from Africa or should be affiliated to African institutions.

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