For immediate release: 11 October 2017
South Africa’s National Poet Laureate, Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile, will be honoured
the third time running by a lecture in his name, by the wRite associates and the
Department of Afrikaans and Theory of Literature, UNISA, at Keorapetse Kgositsile
3rd annual lecture, delivered by the legendary author, poet, literary scholar and
cultural policy advisor, Prof Andires Oliphant, 19th October 2017 at Bamboo Lecture
Hall, Kgorong Building, Meckleneuk Campus, UNISA, Tshwane.
Titled “The Present Is Still A Dangerous Place To Live In: Temporality And The
Poetics Of The Third Space In The Poetry Of Keorapetse Kgositsile”, the annual
lecture aims to honour and celebrate the life and times of Kgositsile, his
immeasurable contribution in the literary and political space which significantly
inspired generations of writers, poets, activists and general communities, in South
Africa and around the globe.
Launched in 2014 by the wRite associates, the Keorapetse Kgositsile Annual
Lecture aims to preserve his legacy for generations to come, through stimulating
ongoing public debate and interest in his literary work and beyond.
The first and second lectures were delivered by Mr Pallo Jordan and Prof Muxe
Nkondo, respectively in 2014 and 2015.
Who is Keorapetse Kgositsile?
Professor Keorapetse Willie Kgositsile is South Africa’s National Poet Laureate and
former Special Adviser to the Ministers of Arts and Culture, Messrs. Pallo Jordan and
Kgositsile has taught at a number of universities in the United States and 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.
He 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.
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.