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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 Law Clinic launches Access to Justice Cluster in the Eastern Free State
2010-05-13

In order to initiate support services for various paralegal associations in the Eastern Free State, the Law Clinic at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently launched the Free State Access to Justice Cluster. The cluster that is funded by Atlantic Philanthropists is managed by the UFS Law Clinic as part of their community engagement initiatives.

The overall objective of the cluster is to increase access to justice to rural and indigent communities in the region. Furthermore, quality legal services will be provided to all individuals and groups whose fundamental rights have been abused; the professional capacity of paralegals will be improved; and workshops will be facilitated to inform communities regarding their rights and duties to empower them.

Adv. Inez Bezuidenhout from the UFS Law Clinic says, “The clinic envisages reaching the aforesaid objectives through the provision of support legal services; providing training, assisting with the dissemination of information and lobbying for a stronger and an expanded network of stakeholders in the access to justice arena.”

This initial meeting, attended by various delegates from the Eastern Free State region, was mainly geared towards the identification of challenges and to establish solutions to the problems experienced by paralegals in the provision of legal services in rural communities.

“The cluster is a non-governmental organisation independent of any political party or religious affiliation. It comprises different organisations all aimed at assisting indigent community members with access to justice,” says Adv. Bezuidenhout.

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