Welkom by Universiteit Stellenbosch



Baderoon awarded Media24 Elisabeth Eybers Prize awarded Media24 Elisabeth Eybers PrizeLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Extraordinary Professor Gabeba Baderoon from the English Department at Stellenbosch University has been awarded a 2019 Media24 Books Literary prize. The prize recognises the best work published during the previous year by Media24 book publishers. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Baderoon received the Elisabeth Eybers Prize for Afrikaans and English poetry for <em>The History of Intimacy</em>, published by Kwela Books. </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>The History of Intimacy</em>, which took 12 years to write, was named a Book of 2018 by the <em>Sunday Times</em>. The collection's strange intimacies include what blurred black and white photographs tell us about loving two people at the same time, contemplating a hand-painted “Whites Only" sign thrown away by the side of the railway tracks in 1988, and recalling the doomed love stories of the 1990s.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Prof Sally Murray, the Chair of the English Department, the judges were particularly impressed by the controlled lyricism and calm maturity of the poems in <em>The History of Intimacy</em>. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The work depicts the transitions of Baderoon's world, herself a figure of transit, and does this in a grammar that relies mainly on the strength of its images. It is a book of technical ease and linguistic subtlety of a high order," said the judges. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Gabeba's most recent literary award attests to her existing renown as a poet, and a scholar. Her creativity and critical acumen are a boon to the English Department, and during her visits to us she is especially generous in mentoring the aspirant writers among our graduate cohort."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Baderoon, who completed a doctorate in English at the University of Cape Town, is an award-winning creative writer whose poems and short stories have been widely publicised. Before the publication of <em>The History of Intimacy</em><em> </em>in 2018, she hadreleased three collections of poetry – <em>The Dream in the Next Body</em><em> </em>and<em>The Museum of Ordinary Life</em>in 2005, and <em>A hundred silences</em>in 2006. <em>The Dream in the Next Body,</em>her debut collection, was named a Notable Book of 2005 by the Sunday Independent, while <em>A hundred silences</em>was shortlisted for the 2007 University of Johannesburg Prize and the 2007 Olive Schreiner Prize. In 2014, one of her short stories was selected for the "Twenty Best Short Stories of South Africa's Democracy". </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Her scholarly work focuses on the representations of Islam, slavery, race and sexuality with some of her articles appearing in journals such as <em>Feminist Studies, Social Dynamics</em>, and the <em>Journal for Islamic Studies</em>.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">She has lectured in universities across the world including Europe and the United States as well as locally. At present she is an Associate Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and African Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State University and also teaches Comparative Literature at the institution. She also co-directs the African Feminist Initiative at Penn State with Alicia Decker, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the African Poetry Book Fund.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Baderoon has received a number of other awards and fellowships, among them the Daimler Chrysler Award for South African Poetry in 2005, a Guest Writer Fellowship at the Nordic Africa Institute in Sweden (2005), and in 2008 a Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. She has also received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Sainsbury/Linbury Trust, as well as a Writers Residency at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has been awarded a Bellagio artist's residency for 2020.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Her groundbreaking scholarly work, <em>Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post-apartheid</em><em> </em>(Wits UP, 2014), was long-listed for the 2015 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-fiction and won the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences' (NIHSS) prize in the category Book: Non-Fiction Monograph in 2017.</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>​Regarding Muslims </em>addresses the invisible history of Islam's impact on modern day South African society and its ties to slavery. The book looks at a range of images that are housed in the South African archive of “Cape Malays" in “travel writing, cartoons, paintings, caricatures and cookbooks" from the 18<sup>th</sup>century onwards, explains  Baderoon.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">​“An extensive record of cartoons, popular paintings and cookbooks has created a familiar repertoire of Muslim figures in the South African imagination, a repertoire infused with larger political meaning," wrote Baderoon. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Baderoon said she felt immensely honoured to receive the Elisabeth Eybers prize. “To me, poetry is an art that connects an otherwise inaccessible interior to the broader world, so for these words to be recognised by fellow writers with this award is very moving to me."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I am profoundly grateful to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and particularly the English Department for making the department and university a hospitable and generative space for me.  I read versions of this book to the department during the writing process and responses and questions from fellow scholars helped tremendously in shaping the final manuscript, which was completed at STIAS. It holds the imprint of those readings," said Baderoon.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Prof Gabeba Baderoon doing a reading of another one of her poetry collections, The Dream in the Next Body, during a visit to the English Department at Stellenbosch University in 2017. (Anton Jordaan, SSFD)</em></p>
Translated work brings to light the political thoughts of one SA's leading black intellectuals work brings to light the political thoughts of one SA's leading black intellectuals Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Thanks to the work of four academics from across the globe, the travelogue of one of South Africa's leading black intellectuals of the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, the late Professor DDT (Davidson Don Tengo) Jabavu of Fort Hare University, has been published in a bilingual edition by Wits University Press. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The travelogue, called <em>In India and East Africa / E-Indiya nase East Africa – A travelogue in isiXhosa and English</em>, captures Jabavu's reflections during his four-month trip to India to attend the World Pacifist Meeting in Santiniketan and Sevagram in 1949, as well as his thoughts on how Mahatma Gandhi's principles of non-violence may be applied in South Africa's struggle for freedom. This little-known isiXhosa text, written in a conversational tone, provides a rare perspective on the mid-twentieth century transnational pacifist scene after Mahatma Gandhi's death. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jabavu's travelogue contributes to scholarship on intellectual exchanges between Africa and India but also shows a South African at home in the world. There have been many texts written by Indian travellers encountering Africa, but the perspective of a black South African on encountering India is much rarer," explains Prof Tina Steiner, Associate Professor in the English Department at Stellenbosch University (SU) and one the co-editors of the book. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jabavu was a seasoned international traveller who starts his narrative mentioning his extensive previous travels and places this particular voyage in the context of a life of travel in the pursuit of support for equality for South Africa's black population," adds Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The travelogue traces how geographies of various emancipatory movements – the civil rights movement, African liberation movements and the international peace movement – intersected at the World Pacifist Meeting.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Besides Steiner, who was the lead editor, the editorial team comprised Dr Mhlobo W. Jadezweni from Rhodes University, who is an isiXhosa expert and who updated the orthography of the original from 1951; and Prof Catherine Higgs, a historian and Head of the Department of History and Sociology at the University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus; and Prof Evan M. Mwangi, a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Northwestern University in the United States and a Professor Extraordinaire of English at SU. Higgs is the author of the biography <em>The Ghost of Equality - The Public Lives of D.D.T. Jabavu of South Africa 1885-1959.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The translation from isiXhosa into English was executed by the late Dr Cecil Wele Manona, an Anthropologist and Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at Rhodes University.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Steiner explains that while Jabavu wrote most of his many books in English, he tended to write in isiXhosa towards the end of his life after his retirement from public life. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“This was also the case with his travel account to India and East Africa which was originally published in parts in the weekly <em>Imvo Zabantsundu</em><em> </em>(African Opinion), which Jabavu's father, the politician and newspaper editor John Tengo Jabavu had founded in 1884; and then in book format by Lovedale Press in 1951." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The younger Jabavu was a professor in African Languages who taught at Fort Hare University from 1916 to 1944. While he was also politician, a pacifist and a staunch Methodist, he was first and foremost an educator and his politics came from a real concern for the quality of education for black students in South Africa. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“You have to understand that Fort Hare was the key institution of higher learning for black students from all over Africa at the time. So it was not surprising that when Jabavu embarked on his trip to India, many of his ex-Fort Hare students sent telegrams to him and asked him to stop over in Mombasa and Kampala to visit them, which he did on his return from India. The travelogue thus also invites reflections on the significance of a pan-African network of ex-Fort Hare students," says Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">In November 1949, Jabavu set off for India via ship from Durban to attend the World Pacifist Meeting as one of 93 delegates from 31 countries across the world. After a week in Santiniketan, the delegates were split into groups and spent the next two weeks visiting various sites associated with Mahatma Gandhi's life and work. At the end of the two weeks, Jabavu and his group reconvened with all the other delegates in Gandhi's village, Sevagram, where the conference continued. However, his writings do not only describe the sights he saw in India and his experiences with his host families, but also reflects on the content of the conference itself.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“He provides us with insight on the proceedings, the discussions and resolutions of the conference and talks about listening to prominent pacifists like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Vera Brittain, Dr Mordecai Johnson, Rev Michael Scott, Dr Pao Swen Tseng to name just a few. Jabavu also met Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, whom he mentions he shook hands with in Parliament, as well as other government officials in independent India."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The narrative shows how inspired he was by Gandhi's methods of non-violent resistance, his civil disobedience and ability to politically mobilise the masses. During his return voyage, he also met with important anti-colonial activists in Uganda and Kenya, like Elind Mathu, Harry Thuku and Jomo Kenyatta."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“From his writings, it is clear that Jabavu wanted to share these discussions with his fellow black South Africans. He was a Christian and believed in a Christianity that needed to be socially involved and relevant, and he very much focused on the principles of self-restraint and service to others and the impact that it could have on social transformation."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/DDT%20Jabavu%20book%20cover.jpg" alt="DDT Jabavu book cover.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="text-align:justify;margin:5px;width:400px;height:600px;" /><strong>How the travelogue came about</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The publication of Jabavu's work is the end product of a project, Indian Ocean Epistemologies, which Steiner and Mwangi had been collaborating on since 2017. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through this project, Steiner and Mwangi developed a joint curriculum which was taught at Northwestern University in Chicago in 2018 and at SU in 2020; published a special issue on Indian Ocean Trajectories in <em>The Journal of Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies</em>; and decided to publish the translated travelogue of Jabavu as part of their mission to translate a text that “would enrich the primary archive of Indian Ocean Studies from an African perspective". Their project formed part of a larger, overarching project called Global Theory in the South based at Northwestern University and led by Prof Penelope Deutscher. The overarching project was funded by the AW Mellon Foundation and is part of an initiative of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While Jabavu's travelogue <em>E-Indiya nase East Africa</em> had been publicly available for nearly seven decades, it was written in an old isiXhosa orthography and was thus not easy to read for contemporary readers," explains Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">However, after seeing reference made to the travelogue in Prof Isabel Hofmeyr's groundbreaking article 'The Black Atlantic Meets the Indian Ocean' and hearing her mention Jabavu's travelogue on a few other occasions, Steiner started her search for an English translation. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">This search led her to Higgs, who had published the DDT Jabavu biography <em>The Ghost of Equality</em>, which wasbased on research she had done in the late 1980s and 1990s for her PhD. Higgs had commissioned the help of Manona to translate Jabavu's isiXhosa text and shared this with Steiner. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I really want to pay tribute to the late Dr Manona who translated Jabavu's travelogue as well as his wife, Mrs Nobantu Manona who gave us permission to use her late husband's translation in this edition." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She explains that the original isiXhosa text by Lovedale that Manona had used for his translation was then edited by Dr Jadezweni, who had to update the old isiXhosa to the contemporary orthography approved by the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Jadezweni said that he had not encountered such a rich and beautifully written isiXhosa text before. Jabavu wrote in a conversational tone in a stream of consciousness style and made use of many isiXhosa idioms in his text. He was an entertaining writer with wide-ranging interests who wanted to encourage his local audience to see their own struggles reflected in similar struggles for equality across the globe." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The travelogue's transnational orientation, its commitment to pacifism and its insistence that political dialogue is possible, make <em>In India and East Africa/ E-Indiya nase East Africa</em><em> </em>an important document of the rich and diverse black South African intellectual tradition. Moreover, it once again confirms the significance of preserving and making accessible African-language texts to readers across Africa and the world."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Main photo: DDT Jabavu (right) with his father, the politician and news editor John Tengo Jabavu, as a young man and later as lecturer at Fort Hare University.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Story photo: The front cover of the travelogue,</em> <em>In India and East Africa / E-Indiya nase East Africa – A travelogue in isiXhosa and English, which</em><em> </em><em>captures Jabavu's reflections during his four-month trip to India to attend the World Pacifist Meeting in Santiniketan and Sevagram in 1949</em>.<br></p>
South Africans must be healthier for universal healthcare to succeed Africans must be healthier for universal healthcare to succeedJane Simmonds, Charles Parry & Melvyn Freeman<p>​South African will have to maintain healthier lifestyles for the National Health Insurance to succeed, writes Jane Simmonds, Dr Charles Parry (both from the South African Medical Research Council) and Prof Melvyn Freeman (Department of Psychology) in an article for <em>The Conversation</em> recently (7 July).<br></p><ul><li>Read the article below or click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Jane Simmonds, Charles Parry and Melvyn Freeman*</strong></p><p>Achieving a healthy population isn't easy for any country – rich or poor. One of the approaches that's gained traction over the past two decades is preventative care through <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">health promotion</strong></a>. Simply put, health promotion means keeping people healthy. This is seen as particularly useful in developing countries, where levels of preventable non-communicable diseases are high, the resources to treat disease are scarce and the cost of treating sick people is often higher than programmes to keep people healthy.<br></p><p>The health promotion approach has two areas of focus. One is preventing disease through activities like health education messaging, screening and testing for conditions. The other is addressing the upstream drivers and causes of poor health. These include social and economic factors such as poverty and unemployment. They also include smoking, excessive drinking, low levels of exercise, poor diet, sub-standard living conditions, gender-based violence and mental illness.</p><p>The health promotion approach aims to change people's behaviour and choices. But it is not enough just to tell an individual how to be healthy: people need support and social structures to promote, sustain and maintain healthy choices.</p><p>A number of countries have successfully adopted this approach using health promotion foundations. <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Thai Health</strong></a> is one example. Similar <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">foundations</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>have been established in Switzerland, Austria, the Philippines and Malaysia.</p><p>In a <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">recently published paper</strong></a>, we argue that South Africa also needs a health promotion and development foundation if its proposed universal healthcare programme, the National Health Insurance (NHI), is to succeed.</p><p>Through the <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">NHI</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>South Africa (and legal long-term residents) are to be provided with essential healthcare, whether they can <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">contribute</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>to the NHI fund or not.</p><p>But South Africa faces high levels of disease, in particular<strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong><a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>n</strong><strong>oncommunicable diseases</strong></span></a> such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and obesity. Many noncommunicable diseases can be prevented. The NHI is likely to battle to cope with treating large numbers of sick people, but much of this treatment could be avoided by promoting health and reducing disease.</p><p>In our <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">paper</strong></a> we set out how this radical change of approach could be achieved and why health promotion could be an effective use of the limited funds.</p><p><strong>Getting healthier</strong></p><p>Noncommunicable diseases, many of which are avoidable, are having a significant impact on the health of South Africans and the South African healthcare system.</p><p>The increase in noncommunicable disease risk factors will likely lead to rising healthcare costs.</p><p>For example, in 2018, the public health sector spent an <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">estimated</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>R2.7 billion ($198 million) on patients diagnosed with diabetes. The estimates increased to R21.8 billion when undiagnosed diabetes patients were considered. The total costs associated with diabetes are likely to increase to R35.1 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2030.</p><p>Another common condition, <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">hypertension</strong></a>, is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney disease. It is often found in combination with diabetes. In <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">South Africa</strong></a> 46% of women and 44% of men over 15 had hypertension in 2016. This is almost double the <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">world average</strong></a> and has nearly doubled since 1998.</p><p>The <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">2016 South African Demographic and Health Survey</strong></a> indicates high levels of obesity, which has health and cost implications. Forty-one percent of women are obese, a condition associated with an 11% increase in healthcare <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">costs</strong></a>.</p><p><strong>What needs to be done</strong></p><p>Health behaviour in South Africa needs to shift from the norm of waiting to get sick and then accessing healthcare to preventing disease and keeping healthy.</p><p>To encourage this, we <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">propose</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>the establishment of a multi-sectoral National Health Commission or an independent Health Promotion Foundation linked directly to the NHI Fund. It should include several relevant government departments, civil society, academics and researchers.</p><p>Health promotion programmes need to be based on more than health knowledge. For example, individuals can't practise good hand hygiene when water is not available, or eat healthy foods when these are not affordable. South Africa's specific<strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong><a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">realities and need</strong>s</a>, including poverty and its related behavioural impacts and health consequences, must be taken into account. This is why different government departments and stakeholders would need to work together.</p><p>We don't know exactly how much of the noncommunicable disease burden could be eased by modifying risk factors. But the World Health Organisation has <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">estimated</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>that in the Americas 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes mellitus and over 40% of cancer is preventable through multisectoral action.</p><p>Some of the changes that could make a difference to health are quite indirect. For example, it is often not safe to exercise on the streets, so communities need to have more active and visible policing and accessible open spaces free from traffic and other competing activities to make increased exercise a realistic option. Healthy food needs to be subsidised and more easily available, and places that sell alcohol and tobacco need to be located at prescribed distances from schools.</p><p>Just how much funding is needed to promote health? Health promotion experts are calling for <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">2%</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>of the NHI Fund to be dedicated specifically to promoting health and preventing illness. </p><p>The WHO's global <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">business case</strong></a> for noncommunicable diseases shows that if low- and low-to-middle-income countries put in place the most cost-effective interventions, by 2030 they will see a return of US$7 per person for every dollar invested. This is certainly a reason to improve health promotion funding in South Africa. We cannot afford to wait any longer.</p><p><a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">*<strong>Jane Simmonds</strong></span></a> is an associated staff member of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. <a href=""><strong>Charles Parry</strong></a> is the Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. <a href=""><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>Melvyn Freeman</strong></span></a> is an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University.<br></p><p><br></p>
John Kani honoured with honorary doctorate from SU Kani honoured with honorary doctorate from SUCorporate Communication Division/Sandra Mulder<p style="text-align:justify;">​</p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-embedcode ms-rte-embedil ms-rtestate-notify"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><br></p><p>“The power of changing the country is in the hands of the citizens. We are the government. We voted them in and can vote them out." This was one of the inspiring messages in the acceptance speech of the internationally acclaimed actor and playwright John Kani after having received an honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p>Under great applause from graduates, their parents and other guests, the degree Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil), <em>honoris causa</em>, was conferred on the 76-year-old Kani by the Presiding Officer, SU's Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, at this morning's (13 December 2019) ninth and last December 2019 graduation ceremony. SU awarded the honorary degree to Kani to honour and recognise his lifetime dedication to using the performing arts as a tool for upliftment.</p><p>In Kani's gripping and inspiring message of hope to everyone in South Africa, he jokingly said that when he had been informed that the honorary doctorate was to be conferred on him, he thought that he had become “famous in Stellenbosch".  “To be honoured in this incredible way, made me feel so good and that my 76 years of existence and all our efforts were not in vain."</p><p>One of the stories that he told at the ceremony was about the time in 1984 when he and Atholl Fugard had to perform in Stellenbosch. They thought that they could not come to Stellenbosch as it was seen as the “headquarters of the Afrikanerdom".  “I thought what will the comrades think of us and they will think it is a sell-out." But they still came and performed for a week. “I was impressed by the good conversation with professors and lecturers but was most impressed by the young people speaking Afrikaans. I realised that the Afrikaner and I had one problem: We have nowhere else to go. My job will be to tell stories and my stories witness the journeys each individual takes."</p><p>In 1982, Kani was part of a hit list, which he ignored. He was attacked by security police and was taken by his wife to a hospital in Port Elizabeth with 11 stab wounds. “In the hospital, there was a white doctor who hid me in the isolation ward for infectious diseases. The security police found out that I had not died and went back to the hospital to complete the job of killing me. They did not want to enter the ward and I have this young white doctor to thank for my life," he said.</p><p>The last story Kani told the graduates and guests, was about his father always telling him that he needed to pay him back in rands and cents for the money spend on his education when he started working. “I told the same story to my eight children, but my currency was different. I told them that they had to make something of themselves and make a valuable contribution to humanity and society. Then they would have paid me back." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>The motivation​ for Kani's honorary doctorate</strong><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The SU Council and Senate decided to honour him with this degree in recognition and admiration for his unwavering and passionate commitment to the performing arts as actor, director and playwright; for his dedication to ensure access to the performing arts for young people from marginalised communities; for using the arts to educate, to create community and as a tool of expression for the oppressed; and in recognition of his commitment to excellence in his 50-year international career in the performing arts.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Kani was born in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, on 30 August 1943. His connection to drama, which started in school, continued after he matriculated. </p><p>As a young black man growing up in apartheid South Africa, his first desire had always been to be part of the struggle. His need to tell the stories of the oppressed and to see the effect they had on people developed his deeply held belief that theatre was a powerful tool for change and would become the catalyst for all of his work, acting, directing and writing. </p><p>In 1965 he joined the Serpent Players where his association and friendship with Winston Ntshona and Atholl Fugard started. In 1972 Kani, Fugard and Ntshona developed the seminal <em>Sizwe Banzi is Dead</em> and in 1973, they created and produced <em>The Island</em>. They took both plays to local and international stages and in 1974 Kani and Ntshona both won the coveted Tony Award for Best Actor in these two plays. </p><p>In 1977, Kani and Barney Simon established The Market Theatre, which focused equally on theatrical work and social upliftment. In 1990 they also founded The Market Theatre Laboratory, giving young people from marginalised circumstances the opportunity to study the performing arts. </p><p>In 1982, Kani and Sandra Prinsloo shook the very foundations of white South African society when they kissed on stage in Strindberg's <em>Miss Julie</em> at the Baxter Theatre. In 1987, he became the first black South African to play Shakespeare's Othello in our country. </p><p>Kani has written and starred in three plays: <em>Nothing but the Truth</em> (2002), <em>Missing</em> (2014) and <em>Kunene and the King</em> (2018). All three deal with deeply difficult South African themes of forgiveness, exile, isolation, identity and loss. </p><p>His most recent international successes include films such as <em>Black Panther</em> (2018), <em>The Lion King </em>(2019) and <em>Murder Mystery</em> (2019). </p><p>Kani holds four honorary degrees and his long list of awards include the Hiroshima Prize for Peace from the Swedish Academy, the Olive Schreiner Prize and the South African Film and Television Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the kykNET Fiesta award for his lifetime contribution to the performing arts, as well as the Naledi World Impact Theatre Award. <br></p><p><br></p>
PhD candidate wins prestigious SA Historical Society prize candidate wins prestigious SA Historical Society prizeLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>​Bryan Umaru Kauma, a PhD candidate in the History Department at Stellenbosch University, has won the prestigious Southern African Historical Society (SAHS) Postgraduate Essay Prize at the society's biennial conference held at Rhodes University recently. <br></p><p>Kauma received the regional award for his paper entitled “Small grains, small gains: African peasant small grains production and marketing in Zimbabwe during the colonial period, c.1890-1980". The paper focused on the 'rise' and 'fall' of the African peasantry, exploring the complex and shifting history of these peasants as small grain, sorghum, rapoko and millet producers.</p><p>He is currently completing his PhD through the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, which is situated in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Kauma is also a recipient of the Lisa Maskell Fellowship sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and administered by the Graduate School. </p><p>According to Kauma, prior to 1890, African producers dominated grain production and trade. However, with the advent of colonialism, spurred on through legislation such as the Diet Ordinance and Maize Control Act in 1908 and 1930 respectively, peripheral African peasant small grain production was elbowed out and replaced with cash crops like maize.</p><p>“Over time, these initiatives became critical instruments in the underdevelopment of the African peasantry," explained Kauma. </p><p>“However, my paper shows that African peasants were not passive victims, but resisted colonial attempts at creating a white commercial monopoly over grain markets. It demonstrates how African peasants during varying economic, environmental and political periods allowed for the continued survival of peasant communities by sustaining the underbelly of agrarian development."</p><p>Kauma's supervisor, Prof Sandra Swart from the History Department, said that the 27<sup>th</sup>Southern Africa Historical Society conference offered “an exciting range of discussions by both budding and seasoned historians from across the world".</p><p>“His paper advances the conversation around resilience and the agency of small farmers in the face of the vicissitudes of Africa's changing climate – both environmental and political. He was competing with some wonderful fellow postgraduate students from southern Africa and faced pretty stiff competition," said Swart.<br></p><p>“Moreover, Bryan has just been invited to present the same paper at the annual African Economic History Network conference in Barcelona, Spain in October. This fully funded visit will connect Bryan to seasoned scholars from across the world focused on the economic and social history of Africa."<br></p><p>Kauma said that he was excited to have won this prestigious prize. </p><p>“This is not a 'small gain' from these small grains. It is really reassuring and inspiring when one's work receives such great recognition from a top society as SAHS. I am encouraged to continue working harder until these grains are big! It would be however remiss of me in my happiness not to express heartfelt appreciation to our research group History Friday Morning dragons and my supervisor Prof Swart, without whose support and dedication none of this would be possible – and for my scholarship from the Graduate School. We brought it home guys," said an excited Kauma.  <br></p><p><em>Photo: A very proud Prof Sandra Swart with</em><em> </em><em>Bryan Umaru Kauma, a PhD candidate in the History Department at Stellenbosch University, who won the prestigious Southern African Historical Society Postgraduate Essay Prize recently. (Supplied)</em></p>
Endler Concert Series UNLOCKED ONLINE Concert Series UNLOCKED ONLINEFiona Grayer<p>​Like many other performance spaces in the world, the Endler Concert Series, as part of the Music Department at Stellenbosch University, had to suspend its weekly concerts due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures put in place to contain the virus. Artists and various role-players in the sector are looking to online platforms as an interim measure that could offer artists some financial recourse in the face of months of lost work that evaporated due to the global pandemic, as well as to find a way to maintain contact with audiences in this time of social distancing and little contact.<br></p><p>The Endler Concert Series has taken the initiative to revise the 2020 concert planning and gather resources to be able to present an online concert every two weeks from 23 August until December 2020, featuring students, alumni, lecturers and local artists. “The vision is to keep the Endler concert hall alive, until we return to face-to-face events, so that audiences can safely enjoy professionally produced concerts from their homes," says Fiona Grayer, Artistic Manager. “I am so pleased this online series strongly supports local content and in fact, seven out of the eight concerts feature works by South African composers! In addition to this, we are commissioning two Cape Town composers, Hugo Veldsman and Matthijs van Dijk, to create new works that will live beyond this crisis."<br></p><p> “Concerts will be entirely free, but if people wish to show support, donations will be possible via a SnapScan with these contributions from the audience going towards recuperating the costs of recording and producing the concerts. For the SU Jazz Band concert in September, donations will go directly to a charity – the Stellenbosch Work Centre for Adult Persons with Disabilities, who annually partner with the SU Jazz Band to raise much needed funds for the Centre. The SU Jazz Band concert is generously supported by SAMRO and ConcertsSA."<br></p><p>“We take great pride in our curation of these concerts which present a wide variety of music including rarely performed works by Nadia Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke. It is a new world for the music industry - events can be produced from anywhere and broadcast to a global audience. Our primary concern is the health and safety of our audiences, musicians, and students. It has become very clear that large groups of people will not be able to safely gather for the remainder of the calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, we are exploring options for concerts of our Departmental ensembles in smaller gatherings when possible but for now we hope our audience will join us in the virtual concert hall."​<br></p><p>For more detailed information about where to watch, when to watch, who will be performing, what will be performed please visit <a href=""></a> or follow @sukonservatorium on Instagram or like the Stellenbosch Konservatorium Facebook page.<br><br></p><p><br></p>
Tribute - Elsa Joubert (19 October 1922 – 14 June 2020) - Elsa Joubert (19 October 1922 – 14 June 2020)Lenelle Foster <p><em>​​​​The author Elsa Joubert passed away on 14 June 2020 at the age of 97. The Department of Afrikaans and Dutch pays tribute to this alumna of Stellenbosch University. </em><br></p><p>During the first half of June, South Africa lost two authors who both excelled in a variety of genres. Jeanne Goosen passed away on 2 June at the age of 81 and Elsa Joubert on 14 June. She would have been 98 in October.</p><p>Joubert obtained a BA from Stellenbosch University in 1942 and the following year she completed a senior teaching diploma, also at SU. She worked as a teacher and journalist, received an MA from the University of Cape Town and undertook a solo trip through Africa in 1948. In 1957 she debuted with a travel memoir on her journey through Uganda and Egypt.</p><p>Although travel (and by implication journeys and sojourns) is an important theme in Joubert's oeuvre, it would be an untenable oversimplification to reduce a writing career of sixty years to an obsession with travel literature. This is demonstrated very clearly by the numerous awards she received for her work, including two Hertzog prizes (considered the most prestigious award in Afrikaans literature), and the recognition she enjoyed as an author – among many other accolades she was awarded honorary doctorates by SU (2001) and the University of Pretoria (2007) and received the <a href="">Order of Ikhamanga</a> (silver) in 2004.</p><p>In 1978, Joubert garnered international attention with the publication of arguably her most famous work, <em>Die swerfjare van Poppie Nongena</em> (translated into English as <em>The long journey of Poppie Nongena</em>). The novel, which has been translated into more than 10 languages and received numerous prizes, emphasises that personal experiences are political.</p><p>In a 2006 <a href="">review</a> of <em>'n Wonderlike geweld</em> (the first instalment in a three-part autobiography), Desmond Painter wrote that Joubert's representation of her own experiences as a child and young woman become the perfect instrument to register the shifts, both significant and subtle, in the Afrikaans world of that time. On the whole, Joubert's work functions not only as a way to register the world at a particular time, but also causes shifts in the reader. <em>Die swerfjare van Poppie Nongena</em> (as well as Christiaan Olwagen's film version, <em>Poppie Nongena</em>, released earlier this year) demonstrates the way in which Joubert forced herself and her readers to recognise the humanity of other people and acknowledge the need for (and importance of) interaction.</p><p>It is a supreme irony that a writer whose work is inextricably linked to journeys, both physical and emotional, died of COVID-19 during the lockdown.<br></p><p><br></p>
COVID-19 is an opportunity to make our circles bigger is an opportunity to make our circles biggerJudy-Ann Cilliers<p>​The COVID-19 pandemic should also be seen as an opportunity to reach out to vulnerable foreigners who try to make a living in South Africa, writes Dr Judy-Ann Cilliers from the Department of Philosophy in a doctoral-based opinion piece for the <em>Mail & Guardian </em>(31 July).</p><div><ul><li><p>​Read the article below or click <a href=""><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.</p></li></ul><p><strong>Judy-Ann Cilliers*</strong></p><p>When President Ramaphosa announced the national state of disaster on 15 March, many breathed a sigh of relief. We were witnessing a world being consumed by a new virus with many world leaders failing to take sufficient action. Our government's early and decisive response communicated a desire to protect its people. Yet even then we knew that the cost will be high, and it will mostly be paid by those already marginalised in our society. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">These past few months we have seen more instances of domestic and gender-based violence, more people losing their jobs as businesses close, and as the number of infections grow, more people without sufficient access to healthcare. In a world that was already becoming more hospitable to xenophobic nationalisms, we read and hear about increased attacks on foreigners, especially of Asian descent, across the globe – any outsider is a threat, a potential carrier.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">While we speak of the 'unprecedented times' we are living through, this kind of attack is not unprecedented. It is a common narrative in South Africa that foreigners should be kept out because they bring disease into the country. All kinds of xenophobic discrimination, exclusion, and violence against foreign nationals have been justified by the claim that 'they' are the cause of real diseases, such as HIV/Aids, and moral 'diseases', such as drug addiction and crime.  That this is true only in some cases is irrelevant to the xenophobe; humans easily extrapolate from 'some' or even 'one' to 'all'. The individual, collective, and systemic causes of xenophobia, and its intersection with racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, are complex in ways I cannot do justice to here. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Studying instances of xenophobic discrimination and violence, one thing becomes apparent: the choice of victim is not determined by the individual's guilt, actions, legal status, or even their real nationality. It is enough that they exist <em>here </em>(wherever 'here' may be), and that they are perceived as a foreigner by the xenophobe. Xenophobia is therefore not a response to a specific threat – despite our rationalisations about crime and job scarcity and viruses – but to a perceived threat, where the perception is shaped by the xenophobe's own prejudices and stereotypes, and by our political narratives around belonging, borders, nationhood, and membership. Such narratives shape our ideas about who has a right to belong or to exist here, and who does not.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The fear underlying such perceptions may have different origins or motivations. In the South African context, migration and development expert Loren Landau identifies a deep apprehension about the meaning of belonging, an apprehension anthropologist Frances Nyamnjoh locates in a historically oppressed and excluded citizenry who, for the most part, still cannot meaningfully access the benefits and rights that come with membership. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Xenophobia is a reaction to a sense of insecurity, of not having a place where one belongs, and an accompanying attempt to establish security. As we face the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic – rising unemployment, lower levels of food security, a weakened economy, and individual and collective trauma – the xenophobic violence that is already characteristic of contemporary South Africa may become more prevalent and entrenched. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The irony is that the logic underlying such violence and such attempts to establish security and belonging preclude the possibility of establishing a more secure society, for it is a logic that seeks to exclude and even destroy that which is strange or new, and it inevitably becomes self-consuming. If belonging is rigidly defined and policed, the circle of who 'truly belongs' will inevitably become smaller and smaller. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">This logic stands opposed to what political theorist Hannah Arendt called the fundamental human capacity of natality – our ability to begin something new. This ability is the root of our freedom, as we constantly bring new things into the world through our actions and interactions with others. It is also necessarily unpredictable, which is why we often respond to it with fear and a desire to control. In asserting control, we banish the new and the strange and the unpredictable, and along with that our own ability to act and exist freely. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The pandemic poses a challenge that, for most people, is radically new. We have reason to be afraid in our current circumstances – to fear for our lives and livelihoods, to worry about the country and the world's future. These fears have been closely tied to our fear of others for so long, and the pandemic makes breaking those ties so much harder. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">It is harder to conceptualise a form of belonging that is not exclusionary when we are isolated from one another, when the risks of sharing the world with others are so evident, and when we do not even feel safe in our own homes. We have seen examples of incredible selfishness and cruelty in this pandemic. Predictably, some of the regulations put in place to protect and support people in South Africa during this time negatively affected foreigners in ways citizens were not affected, especially those that initially limited the activities of informal traders and workers.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Yet the newness and strangeness of our situation offers us an opportunity to reassess our assumptions, to create new world-shaping narratives, and to act in unpredictable ways. After hurricanes or earthquakes, great fires or terrorist attacks, when people are on the edge of life and access to resources cannot be guaranteed, we do not only see dog- eat-dog competition, but also altruism, solidarity, and empathy, often between people who under normal circumstances would not have reached out to each other. Uncertainty can make us hunker down, but it can also open our eyes to realities and injustices we were unable to see before. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As we create meaning in this pandemic and from this virus, as we analyse and live through the implications of the lockdown, and as we try to rebuild and, perhaps, build anew, we need a critical awareness of the precarious position of foreign nationals in our society, as well as the true danger to a society when it does not protect its most vulnerable members.<br></p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li><strong>Photo</strong>: A group of people gathering. <strong>Credit</strong>: Wikipedia.</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>*Dr Judy-Ann Cilliers is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Philosophy at Stellenbosch University (SU). This article is based, in part, on her recent doctorate in Philosophy at SU.​</strong></p><p><br></p></div>
Project makes COVID-19 information accessible to deaf community makes COVID-19 information accessible to deaf communityDaniel Bugan<p>​<br><br></p><p>A new project that aims to make information about COVID-19 available to the South African Deaf community has recently been launched by the Department of General Linguistics in Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.</p><p>The project was initiated by third-generation Deaf sisters Vanessa Reyneke and Stephanie Lotz, who received numerous pleas for accessible information on COVID-19 from members of the Deaf community. Reyneke is the project coordinator for South African Sign Language Learning and Teaching Support Material at the Department of General Linguistics (SASL).</p><p>Currently, COVID-19 resources and information are mostly available in written text or spoken format. However, spoken language is inaccessible to the majority of Deaf people.</p><p>According to Prof Frenette Southwood of the Department of General Linguistics, their research has shown that there are a limited number of resources about COVID-19 available in SASL compared to the resources available in spoken languages.</p><p>“Without translation of important information into the only language fully accessible to them, members of the Deaf community are becoming increasingly vulnerable," she said.</p><p>The Department has received permission from the Western Cape Government to use their infographics as background in their SASL video recordings and their written information as a point of departure in their sign language scripts. They also used the information made available by the Knowledge Transfer Unit at the University of Cape Town.</p><p>The first phase of the project focuses on the 10 most important subtopics of health and will include tips on keeping coronavirus-safe, advice for diabetics and what to do when you are COVID-19 positive. The second phase will include another 10 subtopics or any updates of those subtopics already covered in Phase 1. Both of these phases are funded by Stellenbosch University. The Department is still seeking funding for phases 3 to 6 of the project, as well as for the child-friendly COVID-19 information package that they also plan to make available.</p><p>“The first information videos have already been released over the last few weeks. The aim is to release one information video per week. We have a list of topics that we are going to cover, but we will also be led by the needs of the Deaf community," said Southwood.</p><p>The information has been presented in two dialects in SASL. That is because members of the older generation, who were schooled using sign-supported English or sign-supported Afrikaans, do not necessarily understand SASL well, and need the information in an adapted version.</p><p>According to Reyneke, who is also the project coordinator for SASL Learning and Teaching Support Material at the Department of General Linguistics, she and her sister would like the project to reach every Deaf individual in the community.</p><p>“The ultimate goal is to see that the Deaf community has access to all information needed for their daily well-being during this pandemic, and in all varieties of SASL if possible," she said. </p><p>Reyneke expressed her appreciation for the support they received from Stellenbosch University to get this project off the ground. <br></p><p>“We hope that other public and private sectors will also be inspired by this initiative and encouraged to ensure that everyone has fair access to their surroundings," she added.<br></p><p>The COVID information videos are uploaded on a purpose-created YouTube channel for the Deaf community to access free of charge and are also available on the websites and other social media platforms of Stellenbosch University. Individuals can subscribe to the relevant YouTube channel to receive alerts when new videos have been uploaded.<br></p><ul><li>To view the videos, visit: <a href=""><span class="ms-rteForeColor-1"><strong>COVID-19 in SASL | Facebook</strong></span></a><br><br></li></ul><br>
Goodbye, Pieter Muysken – and thank you, Pieter Muysken – and thank youProf Frenette Southwood (translated by Dr Kate Huddlestone)​As with many linguistics departments across the world, we have read Pieter Muysken's work, and prescribed it to our students – and we do so still. We also have had the privilege to get to know Pieter personally, firstly in 2004 as PhD-supervisor of one of our colleagues, and later (from 2011) as extraordinary professor in our department. His period as fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study (STIAS) was a pleasant opportunity to spend time with Pieter – both academically and socially.<p></p><p>Pieter was an interesting person, but also an interested one. He was naturally interested in Afrikaans and its history, as well as language contact and code-switching in South African contexts, but the history of South Africa and her diverse people, local happenings, the natural heritage of our country and less well-known attractions also captured his interest. For example, during a visit to Grahamstown, when he was invited to be a plenary speaker at the yearly linguistics conference which was held that year at Rhodes University, he looked forward to visiting the town's observatory museum – this while the majority of South African conference attendees were blissfully unaware of the existence of the museum. It appeared that the idea of a visit to this small little museum made him just as excited as the whales that he saw frolicking along the coast in Hermanus. Pieter was no pleasure seeker, but he was definitely a pleasure finder, and he had the gift of finding enjoyment in both large and small things. </p><p>During his visits to Stellenbosch, Pieter gave lectures and seminars for staff and students on language contact phenomena, but he also started a remarkable tradition: At his request, research presentation days were organised. Masters and doctoral students were given the opportunity to present their research proposals (and their studies as they stood at that point in time) to Pieter, other members of the department and each other. The students benefited richly from Pieter's deep knowledge, sharp insight and meaningful comments and suggestions. But what will remain with us as staff is Pieter's sincere interest (as one of the world's best sociolinguists) in the work of young researchers, even if their work didn't deal with language contact or language structure phenomena. This testifies to Pieter's wide field of interest, but also his humility despite his stature as an academic. </p><p>How will we remember Pieter? As an academic superstar without pretention – someone who was generous with his time, knowledge and money, who was equally comfortable conversing with undergraduate students as with rectors, who was cheerful and always laughing. Future generations of linguists in our department and elsewhere will benefit from his pioneering work, but they will not get to know Pieter the energetic people person. We mourn Pieter's passing, but we are thankful for the privilege of having had him as part of our department. For many of us, he changed how we move through our working life.​​</p>