SPU Creative Writing lecturer appointed as Minister’s Creative Industries Ambassador

Mr Zizi Kodwa, the Honourable Minister of Sports, Arts, and Culture, has appointed Mr Sabata-mpho Mokae, a distinguished academic, novelist, translator and author, as the Creative Industries Ambassador. Mr Mokae, a Creative Writing lecturer at Sol Plaatje University (SPU), is celebrated for his award-winning works including ‘The Story of Sol T Plaatje’ (2010), ‘Ga ke Modisa’ (2012), ‘Dikeledi’ (2014), ‘Moletlo wa Manong’ (2018), and recently in 2023, as co-editor of ‘Revisiting Sol Plaatje’s Mafeking Diary.’

This appointment addresses the lack of programmes tailored for retired industry veterans and their transition post-career. The Minister values Mr Mokae’s expertise for current and future initiatives in the arts and culture sector.

Expressing his gratitude, Mr Mokae remarked that if his idol Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje were alive today, he would have urged the Minister to honour him first, in recognition of his trailblazing efforts. “Receiving the call from the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture in Tshwane was unexpected, but I’m excited to dive into this role – like a fish in water,” he said.

Mr Mokae’s goal is to acknowledge creative champions and ensure their wisdom benefits future generations. He advocates for artist recognition and a nurturing environment for creativity. He notes the dominance of colonial languages in African culture and aspires to leave a legacy in Setswana, inspired by ‘HHP’ Tsambo’s desire to make the language fashionable and encourage African language masterpieces.

In his new role, Mr Mokae is committed to enhancing creative writing initiatives. “SPU’s ground-breaking Creative Writing courses in African Languages reflect its commitment to honouring the legacy of Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje. It’s fitting that we continue this legacy through innovative coursework, nurturing future literary talent,” he commented.

“As creative writing academics at SPU, our goal is to expand our literature programme to reflect the diverse roots of Sol Plaatje. We aim to forge relationships between authors globally, promote intellectual growth, embrace diversity, and achieve success through collaboration. My role extends to being a vocal advocate for our programme, attracting top students and guest faculty,” he added.

Mr Mokae is honoured to be one of the first Creative Industries Ambassadors appointed by Honourable Zizi Kodwa and plans to relay artists’ concerns and ideas to the Minister.

He admires his fellow ambassadors, including Mahotella Queens vocalist Mme Hilda Tloubatla, television star Mme Lillian Dube, and renowned musicians Mbuso Khoza and Pops Mahomed, and Jill Waterman.

Congratulations to Mr Mokae on this remarkable accomplishment!

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