Nokuthela Mdima acknowledged for her contribution to South Africa’s liberation
In honouring Women in the month of August, University of Zululand hosted researcher, Prof Chérif Këita who delivered a public lecture on his study of Inanda and the contribution of forgotten women leaders. His study looks at the life of Nokutela Mdima, the first wife of John Langalibalele Dube the first ANC president, his family and their contribution in obtaining South Africa’s democracy and education of black women. The event which was attended by both male and female academic, support staff and students was held on 27 August at the University’s Council Chambers .
Prof Këita teaches in the Department of French and Francophone Studies at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. His recent work, a series of documentary films, pays tribute to great educators and patrons of education in Africa, including John Dube and Salif Këita who founded a school in his village.
Prof Këita is a native of Mali, with special interests in oral tradition and the relationship between music, literature and culture in Africa. His piece titled “Oberlin-Inanda: The Life and Times of John L Dube” looked at the life of Dube in more detail. He is currently working on a third installment in the series. Prof Këita also co-authored Nokutela – The Story of a Forgotten Woman Leader which tells of the historic Dube-Mdima partnership which became crucial in self-empowerment, promoting the spirit of independence and the establishment of an educational institution for the development of black women.
Pictured: UNIZULU History Departments’ Prof Hamilton Simelane, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching and Learning, Dr Prins Nevhutalu and Prof Chérif Këita