Cool kid on campus

LITERATURE SMART: Mafule Moswane standing up for women in his writing. Photo: Kayleen Morgan

IT IS National Book Week, and this week’s cool kid on campus is nothing short of a book worm. Word smith, literature enthusiast, author, entrepreneur and an avid feminist. Mafule Moswane is currently doing his master’s in geography and environmental studies at Wits and is the ambassador for Club Readership, an institution created for Africans and those in the diaspora to engage with African books written by African authors.

Mafule is also an author of two books, Katrina and other untold stories and A Learner’s guide to academic success.

Determined to break and make a valuable contribution to gender and cultural barriers, Mafule penned the story of Katrina, a woman frowned upon for defying cultural norms.

Katrina and other untold stories is an anthology of African short stories. “It’s me narrating my stories about my bae Katrina who I love so much. Unfortunately, in the rural areas they don’t want her because she can’t cook. She’s an academic and a businesswoman. I’m in love with her, but at home they are like if she can’t cook she doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to be a wife,” Moswane says.

“My work is challenging old ways of thinking and introduces a new way of thinking and encourages a conversation between generations. A conversation about feminism, gender roles and patriarchy,” he says.

It’s no surprise that Moswane’s everyday crush is feminist and Nigerian author, Chimamda Ngozi Adichie.

He shares his birthday and also looks up to the Harry Potter series novelist JK Rowling for inspiration and enjoys the author’s creative writing style.

Moswane believes he is compelled, as an author, to rewrite the wrongs of oppression and fight for women. He believes that his stories are unique and finds that it is important that Africans tell their own tales. “My stories are unique, they are told by an African and for a long time African stories were being told from the outside perspective,” he says.

SLICE OF LIFE: It’s okay to speak ‘Engrish’

DISCLAIMER: the paradox of this article is that it is written in English, rightly so, as it reflects the flaw in our society that I am about to go on a rant about.

Of the many ideals or social constructs I have had to negotiate my identity around, language definitely tops the list. I am a Ndebele woman who was brought up speaking isiZulu.
I glorified English, and for the longest time I was convinced that speaking English and adding that nasal twang was the true mark of intelligence.

This would be validated when my grandmother would beam with pride as she introduced her grandchildren to her friends.
This would be done with her probing all the English out of us.

Picture this. We are a group of kids in Sunday school responding to a Bible parable the teacher has just read to us.
“What have you learnt?” asks the teacher. We take turns answering, everyone in English, and others not as fluently (for which they are mocked), but English nonetheless.
This still baffles me that in a setting with African facilitators and children, where the use of indigenous languages was allowed, children had to work so hard at perfecting an “English” accent.

It is this kind of glorification of English that deems African languages inadequate, and worse, it suggests that the improper pronunciation of English words is the proverbial sin.
Hamba uyofuna ushintshi eskolweni sakho (go ask your school for a refund), were the words from family members when I had pronounced an English word incorrectly.
I loathed the way that made me feel, that I was not teachable, not able to grasp the English accent of my teachers.
That was the beginning of the process of making me speak exclusively in English. Regrettably, that left very little space for isiNdebele and isiZulu.

I have yearned to express myself in my mother tongue on so many instances, but the English language has been able to create such a power structure that the use of indigenous languages is frowned upon in certain spaces.
“You better speak that language off the school premises, this is an English medium school,” was one of the scolds from our teachers that we used to woefully abide by– even at break time.

The draining task of decomposing my mother tongue in order to make a point in English and have my voice heard has proven to be the order of my days.
It is imperative that we reject the psychological ingraining that perfect English is an accessory you dare not leave the house without.

An ideal world is one where everyone makes the effort to learn multiple languages, instead of Africans being the ones that always make allowances to accommodate others.
I am now more interested in learning the languages of my people.
That means making a concerted effort to pick up more books written in African languages and speaking different languages in my everyday interactions.

There is so much liberation in fluidly changing from one language to another.
I have found many versions of myself in the process and I have opened myself up to a much wider experience of the world.
I am able to forgive myself and others whose tongues slip as they speak.
I am here to support the sentiments of a writer who said African people do not owe anyone perfect English.

Three SRC members resigned on Thursday evening

Kefentse Mkhari: Now former president of the SRC.

Wits Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command (EFFSC) released a statement on Friday morning, August 18, saying that the Student Representative Council (SRC) held a meeting on the evening of August 17, and elected new SRC members. According to the statement, three of the SRC members have resigned with the third member still not known.

Chairperson of the Wits EEFSC, Koketso Poho, said there’s no form of accountability seeing that no one has sent out communique regarding the three members’ resignations.

He also questioned why the meeting took place “secretly”, “We as the EFF went to the meeting, and that meeting was collapsed”, he said.

President and deputy president of the SRC, Kefentse Mkhari and Noluthando Zuma confirmed to Wits Vuvuzela  on Friday that they have resigned and been let go of their responsibilities.

Mkhari said that it is true that he has resigned but did not provide reasons for his resignation.

Noluthando Zuma: Now former deputy president of the SRC.

Zuma also confirmed that she resigned. “I received a job offer and had to relocate. I felt it would be unfair to continue serving on the SRC whilst working,” she said.

It is alleged that Zuma’s resigned because she is not a full time registered student at the institution. However, she denied the allegation, saying that she is a registered honours student studying Bachelor of Sciences and Geography. Wits requires a student to be studying full time in order to serve on the SRC. When asked if she was still studying at Wits, Zuma said, “that I am still to decide.”

Obakeng Mulaudzi, who was the projects and campaign’s officer is the third SRC member who is said to also have stepped down.

The EFFSC have called for the dissolution of the current SRC saying, “It cannot be that both a president and his deputy abandon their offices and even invite others to do so in the process- yet that structure remains.”


Wits Vuvuzela, Who’s who in the Wits SRC,  February 2017.
Wits Vuvuzela, Wits SRC president under fire for welcome day remarks, February 2017