Rest In Peace Prof. Mbulelo Mzamane


Mbulelo Mzamane (1948 - 2014) was born in Brakpan, and has been described by former South African President, Nelson Mandela, as a “visionary leader, [and] one of South Africa 's greatest intellectuals.”

 Mzamane schooled in Swaziland , where he was taught by Can Themba, and his long and distinguished academic career saw him gain a Masters in English from the University of Botswana and a Doctorate in English Literature from the University of Sheffield (England). He held a number of academic positions - including the University of South Australia , Yale University and Boston University - before returning to South Africa in 1993 to take up the position of Vice Chancellor at the University of Fort Hare. Mzamane's academic work focused on issues confronting the populations of Africa in the post-colonial era.

His publications include Images of the Voiceless: Essays on Popular Culture and the Media (1984), Multicultural Education in Colleges and Universities: A Transdisciplinary Approach (1988), and Race, Ethnicity and the American Context. Mzamane is also widely known as a writer of fiction and poetry, and his collections of short stories are especially noteworthy. Much of his fiction work was written whilst in exile and subsequently banned in apartheid South Africa . Manuscripts in the works include: Of Minks and Men and Other Stories of Our Transition and The Mbeki Turn: South Africa after Mandela.

After leaving the University of Fort Hare, he was a vocal contributor to international debate on issues confronting African populations on the continent and in the diasporas of the Americas . Mzamane chaired and served on numerous boards, including: the African Arts Fund (affiliated to the U.N. Centre against Apartheid) and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand ).

Mzamane was also the director of the Centre for African Literary Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

Courtesy of the Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN.

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