Academic Stature

Prof Nompumelelo Zondi

Head: African Languages

Nompumelelo Zondi or Mpume as she prefers to be known, was born and bred in the rural village of KwaNdebeqheke  (KwaMadlala Mission) in the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg. Her high school education was attained at Montebello High School and  Sacred Heart Secondary in Oakford.  She studied for a Secondary Teachers’ Diploma at Eshowe College of Education graduating with a distinction. Thereafter she went on to further her education at the University of Natal where she graduated in BA majoring in English and IsiZulu . She then pursued her BA Hons and    Masters Degree at the same institution. Her Masters Research Project looked at the Protest Poetry of one of the acclaimed Zulu scholars, B.W. Vilakazi. In this study she underscores the significance of such works as one of the powerful forms of activism during apartheid regime. Wanting to understand people better within the work environment in 2001 Mpume  undertook a two year part time Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management at the University of Natal. This diploma, she maintains, opened her eyes to a number of social issues that she was not aware of prior to her immersion in this programme. Between 2002-2003 she undertook Graduate Studies in the Department of Africana Studies at the State University of New York, USA whilst also teaching some aspects of South African history and Zulu Language and Culture at the same university. Besides renewing her commitment for academia, this opportunity exposed her to Gender issues which became one of the passionate areas on which she has published. She uses the platform to engage with literary works to highlight the significance of this much needed discipline.

On her return she assumed doctoral studies which culminated in a successful completion of her PhD in 2008. The focus of her study was gender and power as represented through contemporary women’s songs. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer position in 2009. Between 2009 and 2011 she served as an academic co-ordinator for the department of isiZulu Language and Literature. After 17 years of association with the Universiyt of Natal which later became the University of KwaZulu-Natal, she joined the University of Zululand as an Associate Professor in the Department of African Languages and Culture in 2012. During the second half of the same year she was asked to act as an HOD in the department of Creative Arts-a position she held until the HOD was appointed in 2013.

Mpume has traveled extensively locally and internationally on research related pursuits as well as giving some key note addresses for community related events. In 2017 she joins the University of Pretoria as the Head of Department of African Languages. She believes the strength of the department with four African languages which are offered to both mother tongue and non-mother tongue students can only take the department to greater heights. She also feels motivated that the senior staff constitutes knowledge bank from where she will draw whenever she needs help as they are well researched in their respective fields. She hopes to walk the academic journey with junior staff so that together we can continue to make a meaningful contribution to our department.  Finally, she is excited to be joining such a vibrant department and can only hope for the best during her tenure. 

Prof Danie Prinsloo
The University of Pretoria awarded Prof Prinsloo a medal as an Exceptional Academic Achiever in 2000 – an award he received for five consecutive three-year periods. In 2008 he was recognised as one of the University of Pretoria's Centenary Leading Minds and also received the 2010 PanSALB Award for effective innovation of technology to promote multilingualism. His research is focused on corpus-based African language lexicography. He has published more than 100 articles and chapters in scholarly books and has read an equal number of conference papers. Prof Prinsloo received a B2-rating from the NRF. With co-author Ulrich Heid, he received the African Language Association of Southern Africa (ALASA) Linguistic Prize for the best publication in 2011. Prof Prinsloo served as a consultant for the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) to guide the 11 National Lexicography Units. He is a founder member and Vice-President of the African Association for Lexicography and co-editor of the ISI-indexed journal Lexikos. Professor Prinsloo’s research is focused on Sepedi grammar and on corpus-based African language lexicography. His current and future research projects include new designs for paper dictionaries and intelligent and dynamic electronic dictionaries.
Prof Elsabé Taljard
Elsabé Taljard is professor in the Department of African Languages. She is a linguist by training, often masquerading as a terminologist and lexicographer. Her language of specialization is Sepedi. Her research is mostly corpus-based and / or corpus-driven, using large electronic corpora as data sources. She is also involved in research on Human Language Technology, mostly in collaboration with colleagues who are experts in this field. She is an NRF-rated researcher.
Mrs Renée Marais
Renée Marais specialises in translation studies, editing, Dutch language acquisition and literature, and Afrikaans literature. She heads the postgraduate programmes of translation and interpreting at UP, teaching various modules in this field and supervising a number of dissertations. As a practising translator and editor, she works in Afrikaans, English and Dutch. Her particular interest in literary translation has resulted in participation in various international research projects in this field. She has published various papers and chapters in books, as well as creative writing (mostly poetry), and is the South African representative of the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde in Leiden and chair of the Noordelike Kennisnetwerk vir Neerlandistiek.

For more information on translation and interpreting studies :

Ms Nomadlozi Brenda Bokaba
Ms Nomadlozi Brenda Bokaba specialises in isiZulu, she was an educator/lecturer for more than  20 years. Worked at Hofmeyr High School, Mamelodi High School, College of Education of South Africa (CESA), Vista University Mamelodi Campus (now UP). Worked part-time at UP for 3 years. She is a fully fleshed isiZulu Chief Language Practitioner, worked at National Language Service of the Department of Arts and Culture and managed the  Language  Management Section of the South African Police Service. She is an author and an editor of isiZulu books. She  is a full time lecturer for isiZulu at UP at all levels. Persuing her PhD in African Languages.
Miss Lungile Mncwango
Miss Lungile Mncwango (preferred name Lungy) is a junior staff member in the Department of African Languages. She specialises in isiZulu. She was awarded the Van Schaik Prize as the Best Zulu Student at Honours level in 2014. Miss Mncwango has been with the Department for six years, she started out as a Zulu Tutor for  module, isiZulu for Beginners, 1st and 2nd year students. She is currently a full-time Lecturer of isiZulu (as first or second additional language) for 1st and 2nd year students. She also holds a Masters Degree in African Languages specialising in isiZulu.

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