Celebration of Mbulelo Mzamane’s life.

Mzamane family,

The passing on of Prof Mbulelo Mzamane will leave a huge gap in
the intellectual and academic leadership of our continent and South
Africa in particular. He needs to be celebrated for his contribution
to intellectual development firstly to the universities of Botswana,
Lesotho and Swaziland and their communities for many years before he
returned to South Africa where he has distinguished himself as a
leading academic.

I recently shared a presentation with him when we were
celebrating another distinguished scholar and academic Prof Archie
Mafeje at UNISA. This makes his passing on poinantly sad for me. To
the family I wish to say “lalani ngeceba boMzamane” and draw strength
from the fact that you had such a companssionate and loving husband
and father.

Hamba kahle Son of the soil!

I will miss him.

I first met Mbulelo in 2004, when he visited the campus of the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where I was studying. I had heard of him, of course, and read his works. He gave a compelling account of his life. Later that year my elementary school teacher from Philadelphia reached out to me to let me know that he had come to my old school.

She knew that I was studying South Africa, and told me that Prof’s daughter, Nomvuyo, had recently started to work there. It was an amazing coincidence, and for me, tremendously fortuitous. We got in touch and over the years, he helped me in more ways that I can note. He was a kind and gentle man, easy to laugh and always able to break down tough information.

He taught me a tremendous amount. I’m so glad that I was able to visit him repeatedly, to be in touch with him and, finally, in 2012, to share my book with him. I will miss him tremendously.

All best wishes to Prof and his family.

Dan Magaziner
Brooklyn NY

The Society of the Holy Child Jesus is the order of nuns that founded Rosemont College.  Sister Carol Ann, whom I work with, gave Uncle Mbulelo’s name to be remembered at their next Sunday Service.

The Society of the Holy Child Jesus is the order of nuns that founded Rosemont College. Sister Carol Ann, whom I work with, gave Uncle Mbulelo’s name to be remembered at their next Sunday Service.

ESAACH_DUT

ESAACH Project Meeting, Durban University of Technology 14 May 2010
Back: Prof Lindy Stiebel, Niall McNulty, Prof Sibusiso Moyo, Dr Michael Wessels
Front: Prof Graham Stewart, Prof Mbulelo Mzamane, Dr Tankiso Dikibo

ESAACH_DUT

ESAACH Project Meeting, Durban University of Technology 14 May 2010
Back: Prof Lindy Stiebel, Niall McNulty, Prof Sibusiso Moyo, Dr Michael Wessels
Front: Prof Graham Stewart, Prof Mbulelo Mzamane, Dr Tankiso Dikibo

ESAACH Launch

ESAACH Launch, Pietermaritzburg 17 March 2009
Dr Pallo Jordan
Keorapetse Kgositsile
Prof Mbulelo Mzamane
Dr Tankiso Dikibo
Judge Vuka Tshabalala

ESAACH Launch

ESAACH Launch, Pietermaritzburg 17 March 2009
Dr Pallo Jordan
Keorapetse Kgositsile
Prof Mbulelo Mzamane
Dr Tankiso Dikibo
Judge Vuka Tshabalala

ESAACH Workshop Bloemfontein, March 2009

ESAACH Workshop Bloemfontein, March 2009

Morija
Morija Archives, June 2009

Morija
Morija Archives, June 2009

A Tribute to Professor Mbulelo Mzamane

A Tribute to Professor Mbulelo Mzamane



ESAACH (Encyclopaedia of South African Arts, Culture and Hertitage) was the brainchild of Mbulelo Mzamane and his unique response to the “serious dearth of reference material in cultural studies” lamented by South Africa’s then Minister of Arts and Culture, Pallo Jordan, at the ESAACH launch in Pietermaritzburg in 2009.

Mbulelo will be sorely missed by his colleagues and friends in the ESAACH Project. Mbulelo was not only ESAACH project leader and its Editor-in-Chief, but a constant source of inspiration. Mbulelo’s unique combination of scholarly rigour and mischievous ebullience drove the ESAACH Project from its initial concept to a substantial 6000-entry Wiki on the Internet. Since that burst of activity that began in 2009, the site has attracted over 60,000 visitors.

Over the subsequent years, Mbulelo’s energetic leadership ensured that the project continued to be a source of creative scholarship, incorporating a range of sub-projects, publications and online classrooms.

We deeply mourn the loss of a great South African, literary scholar and friend.

Prof Graham Stewart

A TRIBUTE TO PROF MV MZAMANE FROM DR JONGI KLAAS

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A TRIBUTE TO PROF MV MZAMANE FROM DR JONGI KLAAS

The year was 1994, when a new academic of English Literature from the diaspora Professor Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane joined the English Department at the University of Fort Hare. He made an indelible mark as a passionate transcendental academic. He was a towering consummate intellectual with an exceptional gift of parting knowledge in a simplistic and yet exciting charismatic manner. It was an awe listening to his engaging academic discourse.       

Professor Mzamane believed in a school of thought of holistic transformative pedagogy. As his students, we did not just imbibe and conceptualize knowledge, we were transformed in the process in order to understand that the learning terrain was inextricably linked to the broader socio-economic and political vicissitudes of our times. As disciples of his revolutionary intellectualism we felt   responsible to transcend beyond the academic discourse to be transformative agents of change in our societies.

Within no time the students from other disciplines in the university would come just to listen to the living encyclopedia of English literature. His unmatched charisma and the passion for his academic discourse was a magnet which drew us closer to him. Most importantly he had an exceptional gift to weave the academic discourse into the complexities and the dilemmas of human kind and the immediate challenges of our societies.

What also made him a cut above the rest, was his ability to disembark from the ivory towers of intelligentsia in order to engage students of different backgrounds. As students we used to say, “Akanantanga” which meant that he had no competition at all. We felt that he was gift to us who arrived at a time in which our country was going through a great political dispensation of reconciliation and nation building. In a way, he used the academic discourse as a tool to interpret and to conceptualize our immediate challenges of the time.      

Prof Mzamane was the embodiment of the virtues, the vanities and the vices of the anti-Apartheid generation from the diaspora, which brought profound hope and unshakable vision to see the Promised Land. As an undergraduate I became determined to follow on his academic footsteps. Prof Mzamane obtained his Masters degree at the University of Vermont in the United States of America and his PhD at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Consequently, I obtained my Masters at the University of Oklahoma in the United States through a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship and a PhD at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom after I was awarded a Mandela Magdalene Scholarship.  

What a selfless legendary academic. As Martin Luther King Junior once said, “A person has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of individual concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” As your former students we are the testimony of your selflessness. You were not perfect yet your versatility and courage constituted a glittering ever-shining star which provided light and hope during the trying times.

“Phumla ngoxolo Msimango wosala ezintiziyweni zethu”

By Dr Jongi Klaas, currently based at the South African Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Article written on his personal capacity).

 

SYMPATHIES & CONDOLENCES

February 17,2014

The Mzamane Family

 

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SYMPATHIES & CONDOLENCES

The Abu Asvat Institute for Nation Building is deeply saddened to note the sad demise of Professor Mbulelo Mzamane. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family, friends and associates of this wonderful, warm and loving human being who is also considered among the giants of the struggle for freedom in our country. 

 We are certain that he will not only be missed among the many masses of ordinary people but also those involved with him in the field of academia. The Institute is deeply indebted to the late Professor Mzamane for the insightful delivery made at the 2013 Annual Memorial Abu Asvat Lecture. The many papers and lectures delivered during his lifetime stand as a testament to his unselfish contribution towards improving the lives of the downtrodden and disadvantaged struggling masses of Azania.

We believe that the valuable contribution to the struggle by the honourable Professor Mzamane will remain etched on the historic landscape of our nation forever.

 Warm Regards,

Anver Randera (Chairperson)

For Abu Asvat Institute