Twenty-five years ago, South Africa used to speak of the white universities on the one side, and the so-called bush universities on the other. The bush universities were, of cause, Black universities. Comparably under resourced, it was inevitable that black universities would lag behind in many respects; with research being one of those areas that was grossly neglected.
However, with the new political dispensation, the status quo could not be allowed to continue. Black universities have had to enter the research arena as a way of responding to the clarion call, to enthrone African ways of knowing and also to put right some of the misrepresentations that resulted from skewed academic power relations between the black and the white sectors of our society. Those of us who have been part of the University of Venda longer, are proud of the strides the University has made in teaching, research and community engagement. The University has steadily moved up the ladder of South African universities’ ranking in so far as research output is concerned.
The 2018 lecture series is finally compiled into a book in which we have permanently captured professors Sengani, Mugovhani and Mashige’s ideas for posterity. Most importantly, our students will rely on the wisdom embedded between the covers of this publication, as they chart their own academic way into the future.
Madimabe MAPAYA holds a PhD in African Studies and specialises in the study of indigenous African music and its implications on African musicology. He is currently Head of the Music Department and a founding member of the Indigenous Music and Oral History Project at the University of Venda. Apart from his university duties, Mapaya is a performing musician with several albums to his name.
Prof Mashudu C MASHIGE, D Litt et Phil (English) University of Johannesburg), is professor of English Literature. He has three decades of experience in the Higher Education sector and has been Editor-in-Chief of the Southern African Journal for Folklore Studies (10 Years), International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (2 Years) and Journal of Educational Studies (3 Years). He was a ministerial appointee member of the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC) and Chairperson of Council of The Afrikaans Taalmuseum and monument (ATM), both of which are entities of the National Department of Arts and Culture. His research interests include South African Literary studies, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Language Policy and Planning as well as Folkloric Studies. He is currently reading for a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA)(HEM) degree through the University of Bath in the through a DHET grant managed by Nelson Mandela University.
Prof Ndwamato George MUGOVHANI holds several academic qualifications in the humanities and the performing arts from undergraduate to doctoral level. His qualifications include; Bachelor of Arts [UNISA], Bachelor of Music (UCT), Master of Music [WITS], Doctor of Musicology (UNISA), Higher Diploma in Education [UCT], and a Performers Licentiate in Music [UNISA]. George has published widely in accredited journals on African cultural studies, oral history, folklore, indigenous African music, choral music and sociology. Professor Mugovhani he has also contributed with chapters in a number of books on various topics related to the fields aforementioned. He has lectured at various colleges and universities, and edited a number of books already published. Presently he is Research Professor in the Department of Performing Arts (Dance, Musical Theatre, Vocal Art and Jazz and Popular Music) at the Faculty of the Arts of Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa.
Prof Thomas Maita SENGANI is a retired Associate Professor in the Department of African Languages at the University of South Africa. He is still attached to the Department as he continues to supervise postgraduate students and is involved in the writing of guides. He received his PhD at the University of Limpopo in 2008 in African Languages. His research interests are in Discourse Analysis, Ethnography of Communication, Systematic Functional Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Eco-/ Environmental Linguistics and Onomastics also focusing on grammaticalization and pragmaticalization as Contextual grammar cross-overs between theories of grammar and those of language. He received the SAJAL Linguistic Prize for the best article in Linguistics in 2014.