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Thursday, August 22, 2019
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US creative writing Students give their SA counterparts a boost

“Universities are places to learn and unlearn that which is stuck in one’s head” this was the message from Jesmael Mataga during a lecture at the Sol Plaatje university in Kimberley on Friday.

The lecture formed part of a series of activities which included book readings, prose and poetry workshops and the appreciation of literature.

Gracing the occasion were two groups of graduate and undergraduate students in creative writing from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, USA.

“Our university is guided by three pillars, women leadership, environmental responsibility and Global understanding” said Dr Jean-Jacques Sene

“The stature of Sol Plaatje and the university named after him necessitated our endeavours to build sustainable projects and collaboration and leave a trail in South Africa” he explained

Catham students are required to visit countries as part of their creative writing studies.

Catham undergraduate student Catherina Mcmullen said she was happy to conduct “social observation in South Africa”

“I came here aware of xenophobia, but I did not experience a bit of it”

Motaga a senior lecturer in heritage studies was echoed by Vice-chancellor Professor Yunus Ballim who said that their university was a “Truly South African university “

“We cannot apologise for poor performance, this ought to be a place where we raise bar of intellectual discourse creative writing is a perfect place to start” said Ballim

Acclaimed South African writer Sabata Mpho Mokae described the sessions as “Perfect”

“Since my return from a writing residency program at the University of Lowa , I managed to sure lasting contacts for collaboration in the interest of bringing up a whole new generation of creative writers”

“During the book readings we had no fancy decorations or any such perks, for two hours local writers and their counterparts from Catham exchanged ideas and were brought together by one common thing, the love for the written word”

“We are assisting booklovers to establish book clubs and reading sessions, we are pleased to note that there are institutional books clubs in several workplaces in Kimberley”

“I can only describe the whole events as perfect”

 Sol Plaatje Student Vuyolwethu George (20) said it was “exhilarating”

“I learnt a lot from Catham University students (MFA, Creative Writing) during the poetry and prose workshops it will certainly give my own perceptions of reality and my own writing desires a much needed boost.

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