Teacher writes thesis in isiXhosa
Kapa makes history with her Fort Hare doctorate
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.