27 June 2017

South Africa: The First IsiXhosa PhD - Dr Hleze Kunju and the Art of Language

Dr Hleze Kunju wrote his four-year-long PhD thesis in isiXhosa, about Xhosa people who settled in Mbembesi, an area outside of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He graduated with his PhD in April 2017 and is a lecturer at Sol Plaatjie University. Hailing from rural Mqanduli in the Eastern Cape, Dr Kunju says his love affair with the language began at a young age.

An artist and intellectual Dr Kunju merges his love for language with multi-lingual pedagogy, academic rigour, and curiosity to present an expansive picture of the importance of African languages. In this episode, Dr Nosipho Mngomezulu talks to him about his journey, ethnographic practice, pan-Africanism and the importance of community.

The Academic Citizen (TAC) is an independent podcast series that is supported by the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (ASAWU). Established in April 2016, The Academic Citizen explores a diversity of topics and opinions relating to higher education in South Africa, today and into the future. Each episode welcomes a guest for an in-depth discussion of a particular issue relevant to university life today, including transformation in higher education, gender equity and virtual learning to name a few.

Researched, edited, scheduled and produced by Simbarashe Honde.

The Academic Citizen is funded by The Academic Staff Association of Wits University.

Nosipho holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University Currently Known as Rhodes University. Nosipho has taught "Community Engaged Learning" at the University Currently known as Rhodes University; "Communication for Social Change" at MICA (India); "Introduction to Critical Race Theory" at the Stanford Bing Overseas Studies Program in Cape Town and Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town as well as the University of the Witwatersrand. Nosipho's claim to fame is once being a student radio DJ.

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