WRITER: MARTI TIEDEMAN
CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 13, 2000
African professor, writer Mzamane is keynote speaker for UI Africa Week
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Mbulelo Mzamane, an African writer and scholar and former
vice chancellor and rector at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa,
will be the keynote speaker for University of Iowa's Africa Week April 1722.
Mzamane's talk, "The African Renaissance in the New Millennium"
will be Monday April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in 106 Gilmore Hall on the UI campus.
In 1994 Mzamane was appointed the first post-apartheid vice chancellor and
rector of the University of Fort Hare, South Africa's oldest and most prestigious
historically Black institution, whose alumni include former South African
President Nelson Mandela and many other important political leaders throughout
Africa. He is also a professor in the department of English studies and comparative
Mzamane has been appointed by Mandela and by current South African President
Thabo Mbeki as a member of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Commission of the
African Renaissance, the Heraldry Council and the South African Broadcasting
Corporation (SABC). He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of
the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism and the non-executive director
of both the National Education Group and Nolwalzi Publishers.
Mzamane has published several works, most of which were banned in apartheid
South Africa. They include "Mzala: The Short Stories of Mbulelo Mzamane,"
"My Cousin Comes to Jo'burg and Other Stories," "The Children
of Soweto: A Trilogy," "The Children of the Diaspora and Other Stories
of Exile," "Race, Ethnicity, and the American Context," and
"Images of the Voiceless: Essays on Popular Culture and Art," among
Mzamane's talk is sponsored by the International Writing Program, International
Programs, the African Association, and PASALA, the Project for Advanced Study
of Art and Life in Africa.
Other events scheduled for Africa Week include:
April 18: "States, Constitutions and Ethnic Relations in Africa,"
a lecture by Pita Ogaba Agbese, professor of political science at University
of Northern Iowa, at 7:30 p.m., in the Indiana Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.
April 19: "Confronting the Stereotypes and Bridging the Gap,"
an open dialogue for African/African-Americans April 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the
Afro House. In light of the recent racist emails directed at the UI College
of Dentistry, dialogue guests will discuss ways to dispel stereotypes they
have of each other and to bridge the gap that exists between themselves.
April 20: An "Africa's Birth of a Being Day" celebration
including distribution of flowers on the Pedestrian Mall in downtown Iowa
City to celebrate the birth of humanity.
A discussion and Malian art demonstration, "Bogolan (Mudcloth) from
Mali" at 7:30 p.m. in the Minnesota Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.
April 21: A screening of the movie "Genesis", a retelling
of the book of Genesis' story of Jacob and Esau, at 9:30 p.m., in the UI Bijou
theatre Terrace Room of the Iowa Memorial Union.
April 22: A soccer match, "Africans vs. Arabs" at 3 p.m.
at the UI Hawkeye Fields.
An African/Indian social function from 10 p.m. 3 a.m. at the UI Native
American Latino House. Varieties of music including reggae, salsa, zuk and
Indian music will help conclude Africa Week.
For questions about Africa Week, contact the UI African Association at 335-2869.