Academic Recognised for Multilingualism Excellence
Dr Mhlobo Jadezweni has been honoured by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) for promoting and developing multilingualism in the Western Cape. The distinguished linguist, academic and author was given a provincial Culture Award at the DCAS Head Office in Cape Town on Friday, 17 May 2013. Due to circumstances, Dr Jadezweni was unable to attend the annual Culture Awards ceremony in Cape Town earlier this year.
Dr Jadezweni (59) was born in Dutywa in a village called Xawuka in the Eastern Cape and studied at Fort Hare University. He taught isiXhosa literature and language at the Department of African Languages at Stellenbosch University, where he also studied isiXhosa poetry. Dr Jadezweni has, since 1984, served on various isiXhosa language boards. He currently teaches isiXhosa literature at Rhodes University.
DCAS Director of Arts, Language and Culture, Ms Jane Moleleki, said Dr Jadezweni has played an important role in language development and the promotion of multilingualism. “This is a proud achievement for our department, for our province and for our country. We are committed to working together with specialists like Dr Jadezweni to ensure that language development moves ahead”, she said.
Head of Department, Mr Brent Walters, praised Dr Jadezweni for leading the way on multilingualism. “Language is an important part of people’s identity. Although it has the power to divide people, it also it has the power to unite them”, said Walters.
Ms Ria Olivier, deputy chairperson of the Western Cape Language Committee, has known Dr Jadezweni for many years. She said he has always been an advocate for multilingualism. “He takes action and is following the footsteps of the late Dr Neville Alexander and Prof Gerhard Brandt. Knowing that you’re still actively involved and carrying on with the good work serves as an inspiration to all of us.”
Dr Jadezweni was delighted to have been honoured. “It’s a heart-warming moment as I’ve put in a lot of effort into making a difference by promoting isiXhosa as a first additional language”, he said.
DCAS is working together with language practitioners to contribute to a better and more empathetic society.