A high school teacher from East London has made history by being the first Fort Hare PhD student to write her thesis in isiXhosa.
This is a first in the university’s 102-year history.
Nompumelelo Kapa, an isiXhosa teacher at Beaconhurst High School, received a doctorate in literature and philosophy at the university’s Alice campus on Friday.
She said she was proud to have made history by writing her doctoral thesis in isiXhosa.
Kapa said isiXhosa had become stifled as a result of “people finding it fashionable to write and speak in other languages, especially English, and in the process losing their identity and roots and endangering our heritage”.
Kapa’s supervisor, Professor Nomsa Satyo, described Kapa’s feat as a milestone, according to The Herald. “It is the first of its kind,” Satyo said.
In April last year, Rhodes University student Hleze Kunju became the first PhD student to write a thesis in isiXhosa, according to IOL.
Kapa received wide praise on social media for her achievement.
Nompumelelo Kapa is the first person in the 102 year’s history of the University of Fort Hare to have written a PhD in Xhosa. pic.twitter.com/W1fo2zmuTI
— Olwethu Sipuka (@osipuka) October 22, 2018
Let us all stand up for the champion!
Introducing Dr Nompumelelo Kapa!
She completed her doctoral thesis in IsiXhosa! The first in the history of the University of Fort Hare in its 102 years of existence.
— Vusi Pikoli (@VusiPikoli) October 22, 2018
We don’t have burn and vandalize Universities to decolonize education. Nompumelelo Kapa has shown us we can decolonize education without torching a single building. https://t.co/hi5Objibno
— Tshepo (@Good_Fellar1) October 22, 2018
Hail to this #queen 👑Usis’ #NompumeleloKapa has recently received her doctorate degree at #universityofforthare. She is the first academic to write her doctorate thesis in her mother… https://t.co/JzX8IVnkJZ
— Langalibalele (@star_nyembezi) October 22, 2018