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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

Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Senior Researcher
2010-05-27

University of the Free State, Ms Melody Mentz.Prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Senior Researcher 
Ms Melody Mentz.


Ms Melody Mentz, Ph.D. student and Senior Researcher at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Division for Student Development and Success (SDS) has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship award to work on her Ph.D. in the United States of America (USA). This award has only been granted to a limited number of students from the UFS in the past.

For the 12-month duration of the scholarship, Ms Mentz will be based at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. During this time she will be doing a part-time internship at the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute. Ms Mentz will also be completing doctoral level coursework in the School of Education’s Higher Education and Student Affairs programme. She intends to complete her Ph.D. thesis during her time abroad.

Both her Ph.D. and research work at SDS focus on factors influencing the success of students in South African higher education and the impact of student engagement on student success. More specifically, her Ph.D. focuses on how high-school experiences and expectations of higher education influence the success of first-year students at the UFS.

Ms Mentz completed her B.Com (Human Resource Management), as well as the rest of her postgraduate studies in Psychology at the UFS, obtaining all her qualifications with distinction. She was also the recipient of the Dean’s medal for the best honours student in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences in 2006, and the Kovsie Dux student of the year in 2005.

Ms Mentz will be departing for the USA during August of 2010.
 

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