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The University of Zululand wishes to express its sincere appreciation for the life and work of the late Professor Gregory Kamwendo. At the time of his passing Professor Kamwendo was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Zululand. The passing of Professor Kamwendo has left the University of Zululand with a deep sense of devastation, in particular with reference to the manner in which his life was ended.

Professor Kamwendo obtained a Diploma in Education (University of Malawi), B.Ed (University of Malawi), MA (Lancaster University, UK) and a PhD (Helsinki, Finland).

He was known for his research interests and contribution in Language Education, Sociolinguistics, Language Policy and Planning. He published extensively in reputable journals such as the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development; International Journal of the Sociology of Language; Language Policy; Language Problems and Language Planning; English Today; Language Matters and others.

Professor Kamwendo was a prolific author in Sociolinguistics Studies and Education and he contributed to the field significantly in research projects, supervision and publications. In addition, he was a Guest Editor of the journal Language Matters in 2009 and Alternation in 2014, both of which are prestigious interdisciplinary Journals for the Study of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa. He was also the guest editor of the Nordic Journal of African Studies in 2016. He was also one of the members of the editorial advisory board of the journal Inkanyiso, the University of Zululand Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is one of three editors of the book Multilingualism in Education and Communities in Southern Africa with Dudu Jankie and Andy Chebanne. Professor Kamwendo published 4 books, 28 book chapters, edited 3 special journal issues as a guest editor, more than fifty journal articles and presented numerous conference papers. He supervised numerous Master’s and Doctoral candidates.

During his tenure as Dean and through his involvement as Treasurer of the South African Humanities Dean’s Association (SAHUDA), he brought extensive experience to these professional positions. He also had extensive engagement through previous work experience at various universities such as in Malawi (where he worked at the University of Malawi), Botswana (University of Botswana) and South Africa (University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Zululand).

Professor Kamwendo was the principal driver of the development of the Language Policy of the University of Zululand and also the principal resource in the contextual revival of Humanities and Social Sciences at the university and nationally. One of the projects that were his passion is the establishment of a community media radio and television station at the University of Zululand.

Professor Kamwendo was noted everywhere for his passion and dedication to his work, vocation and profession. This is evidenced by one of his popular quotes from the Bible which he almost always used to encourage the pursuit of excellence amongst colleagues and students: For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required, Luke 12:48 in the King James Version. It therefore goes without saying that Professor Kamwendo was a staunch Catholic Christian and lived accordingly.

The University of Zululand community extends its sincere condolences to the Mrs Kamwendo, their children and family, friends, colleagues and students as well as to the nation of Malawi.


Issued by: Professor X. Mtose – University Vice Chancellor & Rector

24 May 2018

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