Politics Masters student, Danielle Bowler, wrote a paper exploring contested constructions of colouredness, after being incensed by a column written by Nomakula “Kuli” Roberts in a Sunday paper. She describes how this is similar to what Frantz Fanon referred to when he said he wrote Black Skin, White Masks after “the fire had cooled”.
“I need to be able to engage with people who live with and are of the word,” says Lesego Rampolokeng. A self-confessed wanderer, the internationally acclaimed writer, iconoclast and wordsmith is spending three months as a writer-in-residency at Rhodes University as a recipient of the Andrew H. Mellon Foundation fellowship. In his inimitable ironic style, he says: “I’m a glorified vagabond. I carry my roots on my head, hence the dreadlocks,” referring to his trademark hair. “If I cut them, I’m done.”
Rampolokeng has been working with the Masters in Creative Writing students, creating his own work and collaborating with the English and Drama departments. The Mellon writer-in-residency is sponsored by the Rhodes research office and the selection of the Mellon fellow is made by the Institute for the Study of English in Africa (ISEA) board, motivated by recommendations from the 14 writers who teach on the MA programme.