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DR MAZISI KUNENE (article first published : 2000-05-13)

The University of Natal will bestow an honorary doctorate on Professor Mazisi Kunene (69), one of the university’s most accomplished scholars. In the 1950s he received a master’s degree in Zulu poetry from the university which marked the start of an illustrious academic career.

His banning and extended stint in exile with the ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe took him to exotic places around the world. In 1993 he was appointed African’s poet laureate in the United Nation’s Education, Science and Culture Organisation. His works have been published in Japanese, French, Dutch and German. Zulu Poems in 1970 was followed by the 500-page epic Emperor Shaka the Great (1979), Anthem of the Decades and The Ancestors and the Sacred Mountain (1982).

The University of Natal will confer a doctor of literature degree on Professor Kunene in recognition of his “distinguished contribution” to African letters. The university says his writings in Zulu cosmology, culture and literature have provided formative comment in the developing field of African literature.




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