The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Blade Nzimande, MP, conveys his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Professor Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane on his passing on.
Professor Mzamane distinguished himself as one of our country’s finest scholars of rare breed, cut from the same cloth with the likes of Professors Dennis Brutus, Curtis Nkondo, Archie Mafeje, E’skia Mphahlele and others.
He was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare in the democratic dispensation. He has also been a distinguished visiting professor at a number of universities within the country and abroad.
His passing on is a monumental loss to the academic and literary community, particularly in the wake of concerted efforts aimed at placing Humanities at the centre stage in our higher education institutions.
As a noteworthy literary giant, Prof. Mzamane leaves behind a rich literary heritage, having authored and co-authored a number of books, including Mzala, Children of Soweto, Children of the Diaspora and Race between the Turtles and Cheetahs.
His scholarly publications include the Images of the Voiceless and Multicultural Education in Colleges and Universities, with the latter charting a new course in the education fraternity.
As a distinct educationist, Prof. Mzamane was scheduled to chair a panel discussion at the first Annual Conference of the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors on “Policies and practices that relate to indigenous languages in education in the 20 years since democracy, focusing on how best to incorporate indigenous languages in the school curriculum” in March this year.
Our nation is left poorer without this “visionary leader and one of South Africa’s greatest intellectuals”, as our struggle icon, the late President Mandela described him.
Lala ngoxolo Songo, Msimango, Dumakazi, Thabizolo! Uyibekil’ induk’ ebandla!