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Monday, March 19, 2012


PROFESSOR NJABULO NDEBELE: The Durban University of Technology has conferred an honorary Doctor of Technology Degree in Arts and Design to Professor Njabulo Ndebele in recognition of his outstanding contributions to education, literature and public service. He holds an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.

His classic Fools and Other Stories won the Noma Award for the best book published in Africa in 1983, and his novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela was published to critical acclaim in 2003. His book Rediscovery of the Ordinary brings together his seminal and highly influential essays on South African literature and culture. Fine Lines from the Box: Further thoughts about our Country, followed. He continues to contribute to public discourse through thoughtful and probing commentaries in major South African newspapers.

Last year, he participated in the Time of the Writer Festival held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and visited schools in Durban with other writers to stimulate interest in literature among young people. Prof Ndebele will receive his honorary doctorate during DUT’s graduation ceremony on April 16 in Durban.

PROFESSOR LEWIS NKOSI: The Durban University of Technology will confer a posthumous honorary Doctor of Technology Degree in Arts and Design on Professor Lewis Nkosi in recognition of his significant contributions as a prolific and profound South African writer and essayist.

The award will be accepted by Professor Nkosi’s Literary Executor Professor Astrid Starck-Adler at the Graduation ceremony at the DUT Midlands Campus on April 12.

Born in Chesterville, Durban, on December 5 1936, Professor Nkosi died on September 5, 2010. He attended local schools before enrolling at the then M L Sultan Technical College, Durban. He joined Drum magazine as a writer in 1956, a magazine founded in 1951 by and for African writers. In his book Home and Exile and Other Selections published in 1965, Nkosi described Drum’s young writers as "the new Africans cut adrift from the tribal reserve, urbanised, eager, fast-talking and brash” a description that writer Neil Lazarus felt fitted Nkosi as well.

Exiled after leaving South Africa to study at Harvard University, Lewis Nkosi has written short stories, plays, and criticism from his adopted home in England. Much of his work, however, deals with African literature and social concerns. His bibliography includes plays The Black Psychiatrist (2001) and the Rhythm of Violence (1964), novels Underground People, Mandela’s Ego as well as sharing the writing credits on Come Back, Africa, a film filmed mainly in Sophiatown.

Professor Nkosi is chiefly known for his scholarly studies of contemporary African literature. He authored the book Mating Birds in 1986 where he was critically acclaimed for his prose style and narrative structure.