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28 February 2024 | Story ANTHONY MTHEMBU | Photo Anthony Mthembu
Tlotlisang Mhlambiso’s Literary Debut Promotes IsiXhosa Heritage
Tlotlisang Mhlambiso, with three student participants awarded copies of the anthology.

The University of the Free State Library and Information Services (UFS LIS), in collaboration with the UFS African Languages Press (UFSALP) and the Charmza Literary Club, recently hosted a significant book launch event. This gathering celebrated the debut anthology titled “Phind’ubhale: Imibongo YesiXhosa” by Tlotlisang Mhlambiso, a student at the UFS. The event, held on 24 February 2024 at the Assemblies of God church in Bloemfontein, attracted a diverse audience, including educators and students from local schools such as Ihobe Primary School, Vulamasango Secondary School and Nozala Intermediate School.

About the anthology

Mhlambiso’s anthology comprises nearly 60 poems, all composed in IsiXhosa, his native language. Exploring themes ranging from mental health and love to faith and navigating life’s challenges, Mhlambiso underscores the significance of writing in indigenous languages, considering it an integral part of cultural heritage. He aims not only to promote IsiXhosa but also to inspire and empower young readers.

Appropriately released during the International Mother Language Day celebrations on 21 February 2024, the anthology launch aligns with the mission of UFS LIS and UFSALP to foster a culture of reading among learners and encourage recreational reading in IsiXhosa.

The launch event

During the event, Mhlambiso engaged with the audience, particularly the learners, who had the opportunity to recite excerpts from the anthology. Mhlambiso himself recited one of his favourite poems from the book, titled “Phind’ubhale.” Outstanding student participants were rewarded with copies of the anthology as part of an initiative aimed at promoting literacy and motivation among young learners.

Commenting on the event, Vuyisile Mpinga, Principal of Nozala Intermediate School, expressed gratitude, noting the positive impact such initiatives have on learner motivation and achievement.

Mhlambiso’s future endeavours

Despite his notable literary achievements, Mhlambiso remains committed to furthering the cause of indigenous languages. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education Honours in Curriculum Studies, with a specialisation in Languages, he intends to advocate for the importance of indigenous languages in schools across the country.  

Book Launch

Tlotlisang Mhlambiso with educators from the schools invited to the launch.  

News Archive

UFS staff makes a difference
2010-05-04

 
From the left are: Ms Annemarie Ludick, Senior Officer at the UFS; Mr Gerald and Mrs Luchelle Blaauw of the Ebenhauser Intermediary School in Wepener; and Mr Philemon Bitso, Assistant Officer: Corporate Relations at the UFS.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
A group of staff members at the University of the Free State (UFS) made a donation to Mr Gerald Blaauw and his wife, Luchelle, both teachers at the Ebenhauser Intermediary School in Wepener, in reaction to an article that appeared in Volksblad’s Kontrei of 28 April 2010.

The money will be used to buy a stove and pots to prepare food for the 646 learners in this school.

When Mrs Blaauw, who has been at the school for ten years now, got involved in the school’s feeding scheme, she noticed a great need for food amongst the learners. It motivated her to start a vegetable garden. With spinach, cabbage, beetroot, beans, peas and carrots in the garden but no stove or pots to cook the vegetables, Mrs Blaauw was very happy when she learned about the donation from the UFS.

Mrs Blaauw has plans to expand the garden. “We would like to daily give the children a plate of food at 10:00 and a cup of soup again in the afternoon,” she said.

Mr Mickey Gordon, Head: Corporate Relations, Institutional Advancement and Sport at the UFS, said: “It is remarkable that a teacher will go to so much effort for the children. This school is part of our Free State community and we like to help.”

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