Keorapetse Kgositsile Annual Lecture

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The Honouring and celebration of the life and times of the internationally acclaimed South African National Poet Laureate, leading academic, activist, freedom fighter and doyen of letters, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, is long overdue. This legend and sage has contributed significantly in the world literary arena and has inspired generations of writers, poets, activists and general communities around the globe.

It is thus imperative that such wealth of legacy is properly archived in the world’s annals of history and made available to the current and generations to come.

Our country, indeed, our Continent, deservedly take pride in having birthed a world renowned author, scholar and activist of note in Prof Kgositsile.

It is thus appropriate and proper that we celebrate this Poet Laureate, by coursing his literary journey and reflecting on the legacy therefrom.

In pursuance of this need to celebrate this icon, the wRite associates, the premier literary art, strategy development and project management agency, conceptualised and established the Keorapetse Kgositsile Annual Lecture, and inaugurated it in partnership with and at the National Library of South Africa on 21st September 2013.

The inaugural keynote speaker was Mr Pallo Jordan, with Prof Muxe Nkondo as the respondent.

The 2nd Keorapetse Kgositsile Annual Lecture will be presented and hosted by the wRite associates and the University of South Africa (UNISA), at the Miriam Makeba Hall, UNISA Tshwane Campus, on 19th September 2014.

The main speaker is Prof Muxe Nkondo and Ms Gail Smith will be the respondent.

Honouring South Africa’s Poet Laureate, a rounded human being, complex author, activist and foremost revolutionary stalwart of letters, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, is a necessary and affirming sign and task for our confident march into a tomorrow safe and fit for our children and generations to come.

About Prof Keorapetse Willy Kgositsile

Professor Keorapetse Willy Kgositsile is South Africa’s National Poet Laureate and Special Adviser to the Minister of Arts and Culture.

Kgositsile has taught at a number of universities in the United States and in Africa including the University of Denver, Wayne State University, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and the universities of Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Fort Hare.

Kgositsile has worked in various structures and departments of the African National Congress (ANC). In exile he was a founding member of the ANC’s Department of Arts and Culture and that of Education. He was also the Chairperson of the Regional Political Committee in Zimbabwe. In Botswana he worked in the underground structures of the Political/Military Council (PMC). He is a founding member of the ANC Veterans League and was a member of the ANC National Centenary Task Team.

Kgositsile is one of the most internationally acclaimed and widely published South African poets. Some of his work has been translated into many languages. His poetry collections include My Name is Afrika, The Present is a Dangerous Place to Live, Heartprints, When the Clouds Clear, To the Bitter End, If I Could Sing, This Way I Salute You. He has been the recipient of a number of literary awards including the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, the Harlem Cultural Council Poetry Award, the Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Poetry Award, the Herman Charles Bosman Prize. In 2008 he was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga: Silver (OIS). He was awarded the degree Doctor of Literature and Philosophy (DLitt et Phil) (honoris causa) by UNISA in 2012.