Rhodes>African Languages>People>Dr. Ntosh R Mazwi

Dr. Ntosh R Mazwi


As lecturer and a scholar in the division of African Languages my main objective amongst others, is to further the intellectualization of isiXhosa so that it can be used across disciplines at various levels of education. Furthermore, to uphold and advance the developmental role of lecturer education through effective teaching and learning, research skills, community development, creative and critical skills required to improve the quality of life at Rhodes University.



Doctor of Philosophy: 2013 – 2016: Rhodes University - PhD (School of Languages and Literatures: African Languages Section).

Thesis Topic: Transcription, Edition, Translation and Critical Analysis of Biographical Poems Contributed by S. E. K. Mqhayi to Early IsiXhosa Newspapers.

Year Received: 20th April 2017


Master’s Degree: 1996-2000: University of Stellenbosch - Master of Arts (African Language Studies).

Thesis Topic: Complexity Accuracy and Fluency in Task-Based Instruction for Xhosa Second Language at Tertiary level.

Year Received: April 2001


Honours Degree: 1993 – 1994:  Rhodes University - Bachelor of Arts

Extended Essay Topic: Critical Analysis of Satyo’s Novel Etshatile Engatshatanga.

Year Received: April 1995

Bachelor’s Degree: 1986–1989: Unisa- Bachelor of Arts

Year Received: April 1989



Title            : Senior Lecturer (African Language Studies)

Institution: Rhodes University School of Languages (African Language Studies Section)

Date            : 1st  October 1995- date

Employer  : Rhodes University

Duties        : Lecturing, curriculum design in L1 & L2, tutor support, administering

                       examination process and coordinator of L2 courses.

Teaching Responsibilities at Rhodes:

  • IsiXhosa 1NMT (Language Theory)
  • IsiXhosa 2NMT(Language Theory and Literature)
  • IsiXhosa 3 NMT(Language Theory and Literature)
  • IsiXhosa 2MT(Literature)
  • IsiXhosa for Honours (Literature)
  • Supervision of Post Graduate students(Literature)


Title            : HOD African Language (IsiXhosa) Section

Institution: Ntsika Secondary School, Grahamstown

Date           : 1992 -30th September

Employer: Department of Education and training

Duties     : Teaching, staff supervision, administration associated with the job and sport



Title                 : Teacher

Institution     : Andrew Moyakhe Primary School  

Date                 : 1983- 1992

Employer      : Department of Education and Training

Duties             : Teaching and sport coaching


Title               : Teacher

Institution   : Bathurst Combined School

Date               : 1979- 1982

Employer    : Department of Education and Training

Duties           : Teaching, sports, coaching and music




I was born in Matatiele in the rural village remarkably close to Lesotho. The only highest grade I was supported in by my parents is what was called then Form 111or Standard 8 (which is equivalent to Grade 10 these days). That was it.  After that I enrolled for Primary Teachers’ Certificate (P. T. C.). After three years of training, I started teaching. That was 1979. For me to have matric I had to further my studies while I was teaching, and I registered privately and managed to get my Senior Certificate under what was called JMB (Joint Matriculation Board). Immediately after that I registered with Unisa for BA and after four years of studying with correspondence I graduated. After that I registered with Rhodes University to do Honour’s degree in African Languages while I was teaching. Same applied for my MA with the University of Stellenbosch up until my PhD with Rhodes University. 

What I am trying to put across here is that my educational success and maybe life success in general never came easy. It was quite a challenge for me to study while working my whole life. It was a result of self-inspired hard work. My success in teaching draws heavily from this self-acquired education experience. I regard myself as someone who strives to inspire students to succeed despite whatever challenges they come across. I also regard this experience as invaluable, and I believe it still positioned me in a particularly good stead.

I was appointed at Rhodes in October 1995, in the African Languages Department, after having been an isiXhosa teacher in one of the high schools in Grahamstown. However, my teaching career did not start at a high school but as a primary school teacher where one has to teach all the subjects. Having taught primary kids and high school pupils prepared me not only with insights of teaching different age groups but gave me the opportunity to learn how pupils learn before they come to university. This has also afforded me the opportunity to gain some speculative and practical knowledge before starting to lecture university students.


1996: I was awarded NRF to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Stellenbosch.

2016: Also awarded a sabbatical grant to complete a doctoral degree, also by NRF.

2017: Nominee for Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (Senior)

2017: Awarded Thomas Alty & Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for successfully completed a qualification.

2018: Promoted to senior lectureship.




Name of student

Level & year


Year Graduated

Xolisani Angela Mtendeni

Honours- 2015

The Role of Literature in Education

March 2016

Bulelwa Somlata

Masters – 2013 - 2015

The Projection of Gender Based Violence through characterisation and Theme in Magqashela’s Works

March 2016

Mlamli Diko



Masters – 2017- 2019


Evaluation of the Role of IsiXhosa Customs and Traditions In Selected Novels: Ityala Lamawele and Ukuba Ndandazile

April 2020


Rendani Molubo

Masters – 2017- 2019

A Critical Appraisal of Saule’s Portrayal of Women as Amadelakufa (Resilient)

April 2020

Xolela Benayo

Masters – 2017 - 2019

J. J. R. Jolobe’s Satiritic Works: A Critique in Relation to Contemporary South Africa

April 2020

Rendani Molubo

PhD - 2019 -2023

Beyond Feminism: Women Operating as Subliminal Agents of Patriarchal Culture in Various IsiXhosa Novels


Noluyolo Mnwana

PhD - 2019 -2023

Ukusetyenziswa kolwimi kuluncwadi ngokungqamene nendalo


Zimkhitha Zigayi

Masters – 2020-2021

A Stylistic Reflection on two IsiXhosa Novels: Umlimandlela and Inkawu Idliw’ilila


Mlamli Diko

PhD – 2019 - 2023

Critical discourse in Ncedile Saule’s isiXhosa Novels: Umlimandlela; Ukhozi Olumaphiko; Inkululeko Isentabeni and Libambe Lingatshoni




1996: External Examiner – Department of Primary Education – Rhodes University – Diploma in Education (Junior and Senior Primary)




Mazwi, N. & B. Nosilela. 2009. IsiXhosa Language, Culture and Literature – Course 1 manual. Rhodes University. Grahamstown

Mazwi, N. IsiXhosa Language, Culture and Literature – Course 2 manual. Rhodes University. Grahamstown

Mazwi, N. IsiXhosa Language, Culture and Literature – Course 3 manual. Rhodes University. Grahamstown

Mazwi, N. Jadezweni M-W. Amanqakwana ngoncwadi lwesiXhosa - IsiXhosa 2MT Manual. Rhodes University. Grahamstown

Mazwi, N. Amagqabantshintshi ngoovulindlela boncwadi lwesiXhosa - IsiXhosa 2MT Manual. Rhodes University. Grahamstown



Mazwi N. R. Critical Analysis of Umfi uJonathan Tunyiswa noWilliam Cebani Mtoba as one of the unpublished biographical poems by SEK Mqhayi South African Journal of African Languages Pages 9-14



Collected the works of Mqhayi based on poems of the people during 1900-1944. The initial research was in preparation for a PHD for which I registered as a full-time student in 2013. Estimated Year of submission was December 2016, and it was COMPLETED.

Presently, I am engaged in converting my PhD Thesis into Academic Conference Papers and Journal Articles (IN PROGRESS).

I am also engaged in the preparation of a manuscript for anthology book entitled: Izibongo Zabantu. (IN PROGRESS).



Mazwi, N. 2009. “RU-SANTED Multilingualism Review Workshop”. Impact of SANTED Programmes on the teaching of isiXhosa mother-tongue at RU.” RU. Grahamstown.

Mazwi, N. “Relooking isiXhosa traditional literature for modern discourse.” SEK Mqhayi Language Conference. King David Premier Hotel. East London.

Mazwi, N. “Training Translators: Approaches, Processes and Strategies.” Nomzamo High School. Port Alfred.

Mazwi, N. “Iphupha likaMqhayi loMzantsi Afrika Omtsha kwincwadi uDon Jadu.” SEK Mqhayi Language Conference 2011 Walter Sisulu University. East London.

Mazwi N. et. al, “Teaching African Languages at University in the 21st century: opportunities, prospects and challenges.” ALASA 2011. University of KwaZulu Natal. Durban.

Mazwi, 2012. “Critical analysis of Umfi uJonathan Tunyiswa noWilliam Cebani Mtoba as one of the unpublished biographical poems by SEK Mqhayi” ALASA 2012. University of Venda, Limpopo.

Mazwi, N. 2013. Diplomatic edition as the literary device in poetry: ALASA 2013. University of South Africa. Pretoria

Mazwi, N. & Jadezweni, W-M. IsiXhosa Literature since 1994: A good story to tell?: ALASA 2014 Walter Sisulu University Umtata

Mazwi, N. 2015. The hidden voice of Mqhayi: A critical appraisal of his biographical poems: ALASA 2015. Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town.

Mazwi, N. 2017. An Intellectual hails intellectuals: A case of Mqhayi and his subjects of praise. A Colloquium-Rhodes University Grahamstown .

Mazwi, N. Naming in Mqhayi’s biographical poems: What’s in a name?: ALASA 2017. Rhodes University Grahamstown.



I am an affiliated member of the following Associations:

African Languages of Southern Africa (ALASA)

South African Folklore Society (SAFOS)

Humanities Faculty Standing Committee (Rhodes University)

Humanities Faculty Board (Rhodes University)

Women’s Academic Solidarity Association (Rhodes University)

Chairperson PanSALB Eastern Cape Region



In our section I play a role of Coordinator of second language courses.

Handling and offering support to tutors.

Administering examination process.

I also coordinate the teaching of literature (with junior colleagues under my direction) in the African Language Studies Section.

I participated in a steering committee organizing SAFOS Conference hosted by our section in 2004.

I am also involved in the same committee organizing ALASA Conference 2017



From 2012 to 2016 I have been involved in a project which was the collaboration of African Languages, Music Departments (both from Rhodes) and Ntinga Ntaba kaNdoda, a non-governmental organization that promotes sustainable rural development in Keiskammahoek South. The project was part of the community engagement where our students were visiting villages in Keiskammahoek, collecting, documenting and videoing old traditional literature and cultural ceremonies, for example songs, folktale and izibongo (praise poems) bringing them for archiving at the International Library of African Music (ILAM) at Rhodes.

Another project is with my isiXhosa 2nd year MT students to participate in the Trading Live for Nelson Mandela Day Taking place on the 24th – 28th July 2017. After having meetings with Rhodes Community Engagement (CE) staff we registered with the Rhodes office to engage in High School Education where students will be presenting about the History of Literature and selected early writers. CE office approved our offer and proposal for the project saying it is in parallel with my PhD research and what we are doing in our literature lectures as well. The aim of these presentations is to raise awareness about isiXhosa literature as I had gathered from one of the teachers that this is the area they do not know and never touched. It means it will have a lot of impact.



30th – 31st May 2016 I attended a Round Table Series on Critical Issues in Higher Education. Theme: Transformation of Higher Education and Formation of Canon in African Philosophy and African Literature As participants in the Round Table we were exploring critical issues in higher education in Africa, examining the question surrounding the formation of canons in African literature and philosophy

17th May 2017 2nd year MT literature class hosted three (3) Literature and History students and researchers from Netherlands, Johannesburg and Cape Town who were sharing their research areas with the aim of motivation our students to value the use of their languages, their history and culture.

12th – 22nd June 2017 I participated and presented a paper in a Colloquium about Rethinking South African Canonical Writing: Centring the isiXhosa writings of the 19th and early 20th centuries.   

13th July 2017 I facilitated the literature workshop for High School isiXhosa home language learners of Grahamstown at the Ikamva Youth Centre based at Nombulelo High School.

28th July 2017 I was involved with my colleague Dr Jadezweni and our literature students in organizing the Mqhayi Day Celebrations held by African Languages Literature section, in commemoration of our literature icon S. E. K. Mqhayi.


Last Modified: Tue, 22 Feb 2022 15:13:44 SAST