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Speaker: Dr Ali Khangela Hlongwane

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These are reflections on a work in progress re-engaging the life and times of Khabi Vivian Mngoma. 2022 marked the centenary of the complex life and times of Mngoma and presented an opportunity to re-trace his biography by drawing on an extensive archive of his work and writings as well as memories of his family, friends and former students. A re-engagement with his life also provides an opportunity to historicize his childhood days in the 1920 as part of a people who were fast becoming an inalienable part of Johannesburg yet denied full participation in city life. Through his biography I explore the intersections of township life, missionary education, resistance to Bantu education, the making of a “new” culture of letters and the emergence of community based arts education. In the process attempt to understand the making and struggles of a complex artist, teacher and his generation.

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