Teacher writes the­sis in isiXhosa

Kapa makes his­tory with her Fort Hare doc­tor­ate

Sowetan - - Front Page - By Lu­lamile Feni

East Lon­don high school teacher Nom­pumelelo Kapa has be­come the toast of the 102-year-old Univer­sity of Fort Hare af­ter be­com­ing the first aca­demic to write her doc­tor­ate the­sis in her moth­er­tongue Xhosa.

The Bea­con­hurst High Xhosa teacher was con­ferred with a doc­tor­ate in lit­er­a­ture and phi­los­o­phy at the univer­sity’s spring grad­u­a­tion in Alice on Fri­day.

“I feel very proud that I am the first one to make his­tory at Fort Hare to write in isiXhosa. It is in­deed a beau­ti­ful ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

“We are talk­ing about trans­form­ing and de­colonis­ing Africa, so isiXhosa should be con­sid­ered. We also want to pro­duce more isiXhosa writ­ers, jour­nal­ists, trans­la­tors and oth­ers. IsiXhosa has be­come sti­fled, with peo­ple find­ing it fash­ion­able to write and speak in other lan­guages, es­pe­cially English,” said Kapa.

The ti­tle of her the­sis is: As­pects of cul­ture and the hu­mour that in­flu­ence nam­ing in se­lected isiXhosa drama texts: What’s in a name?

Fort Hare African lan­guages depart­ment head and Kapa’s su­per­vi­sor, Pro­fes­sor Nomsa Satyo, said: “This re­ally was a thought-pro­vok­ing jour­ney. This, in­deed, is a mile­stone. It is the first of its kind! It gives us great plea­sure there­fore to wel­come her as some­one who put our univer­sity on the re­search map.” “For many decades, Africa has been the only place in the world where most chil­dren are taught in the lan­guage that is not their own. This the­sis places isiXhosa at the cen­tre as far as ed­u­ca­tion is con­cerned,” Satyo said.

/LU­LAMILE FENI

Nom­pumelelo Kapa re­ceives her doc­tor­ate de­gree at a cer­e­mony at the Univer­sity of Fort Hare.

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