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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

Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries
2016-05-04

Description: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries  Tags: Drama students awarded National Arts Council bursaries

The National Arts Council (NAC) has awarded R100 000 to 10 Drama students at the University of the Free State (UFS). Eight years after its establishment in 2005, the NAC has partnered our university in funding academically-deserving students needing assistance with tuition. To date, our undergraduate students have benefitted from more than R800 000.

Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts, who applies to the NAC at the end of each year on behalf of students, welcomes the funds: “Quite a lot of our students would not have been able to complete their studies without assistance from the bursary scheme.”

As a result of this financial injection, South African schools also gain. “Some students then enrol for a higher education diploma, and they then teach Arts and Culture at schools. Hence, there is a whole new generation of Arts and Culture teachers who are now entering the school system,” said Prof Luwes.

Mbuyiselo Nqodi, a second-year BA Drama and Theatre Arts student, would not have been able to enrol at the university in 2015, had it not been for the NAC.  “Without the bursary, I would not have been admitted into the university. It helped a lot because R10 000 can go a long way.”

Pursuing its mandate to support and develop South Africa’s arts, culture and heritage sector, the NAC awarded 117 bursaries to arts students and tertiary institutions for the year.  A total of R5 million has been allocated for 2016, a 10% increase on the previous financial year.

According to the NAC Chief Executive Officer, Rosemary Mangope, one of the aims of the NAC is to provide support to students who will contribute to the arts and culture industry in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

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