A tale of honour

Rhodes shows recognition to storyteller Gcina Mhlophe

STORYTELLER extraordinaire Gcina Mhlophe will be honoured by Rhodes University on Friday.

The award-winning author, poet, actress, playwright and director will receive an honorary doctorate in literature from the university.

The 55-year-old — who tells stories in English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa, has contributed significantly to the revival of African storytelling — has performed in theatres from Soweto to London.

Mhlophe is the author of 18 books, including children's books, adult poetry, short stories and plays, which have been published all over the world and translated into German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili and Japanese.

She has received four other honorary doctorates from the London Open University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of Pretoria and the University of Fort Hare.

Mhlophe explained that of all the experiences and awards her rich life has offered, she most values the foundation of love she was given by her grandmother Mthwalo Mhlophe.

 "Gogo Mthwalo had lost her own children to illness and she started looking after me when I was just two years old. She gave me all the love and adventure a little girl could desire.

"With her, I truly imagined I had seen the world."

She said one day her grandmother sat her down and explained to her that there is a much bigger world out there.

"She told me that our Hammarsdale is a small place near Durban and that Durban is only one of cities in South Africa; that there are many other places and a bigger world out there for me to discover.

"Her words were prophetic and I have been travelling for the past 33 years," said Mhlophe.

WORD WEAVER: Gcina Mhlophe has performed all over the world and had her work translated into several languages

Source: Sowetan 

Source:  Sowetan

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