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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 strengthens ties with Mexican university
2010-05-11

 At the First Joint Subcommittee on Technical, Scientific and Technological Co-operation were, from left: Prof. Nahum Marban-Mendoza, Chairperson of the Department of Agroparasitology, UACH; Dr Gisela Pena-Ortega, Director of the Office for International Affairs and Academic Exchange, UACH; Prof. Wijnand Swart, Director of UFS Strategic Academic Cluster 4: Technologies for Crop Industries in Semi-arid regions; and Dr Victor Pinto, Department of Parasitology, UACH.
Photo: Mercedes Cuenca


In 2006, the University of the Free State (UFS) signed an institutional agreement with the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACH) in Mexico. This made the UFS the first South African academic institution to establish scientific relations with Mexico.

It was for this reason that Prof. Wijnand Swart, Director of the UFS Strategic Academic Cluster 4: Technologies for Crop Industries in Semi-arid regions, was invited to participate in the First Joint Subcommittee on Technical, Scientific and Technological Cooperation held recently in Mexico City. During his visit, Prof. Swart secured the working relationship between the UFS and the UACH.

During the first meeting of the Mexico-South Africa Bi-national Commission, the Mexican Foreign Secretary and Minister of Foreign Affairs and South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation signed a joint statement. The statement, “Mexico and South Africa: Towards a Priority Relationship”, together with a Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement, will lay the foundations for monitoring existing collaboration and promote new actions between institutions in Mexico and South Africa.

Prof. Swart spent the remainder of his stay in Mexico presenting lectures to staff and students at the UACH on integrated pest management and challenges facing South African agriculture. He also engaged in discussions with Dr Gisela Pena-Ortega, Director of the UACH Office for International Affairs and Academic Exchange, about the establishment of a staff and student exchange programme with the UFS.
 

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