Doctor feels good after historic IsiXhosa PhD at Fort Hare University

23 October 2018 - 11:02 By Lulamile Feni
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.
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.
Image: Olwethu Sipuka via Twitter

East London high school teacher Nompumelelo Kapa has become the first academic at the 102-year-old University of Fort Hare to write a doctorate thesis in IsiXhosa.

The IsiXhosa teacher was conferred with a doctorate in literature and philosophy degree at the university’s spring graduation in Alice on Friday. She told the Daily Dispatch: "It is indeed a beautiful experience. I love my language so much."

Kapa‚ a mother of two‚ is married to amaXhosa royal Prince Jerry Sigcawu of Nqadu in Willowvale.

Her supervisor‚ African languages department head Professor Nomsa Satyo‚ said: "This study‚ on onomastics (the history and origin of a name) will contribute towards the development of the orthography (spellings) of isiXhosa so as to be on a par with that of languages that have been standardised. Her thesis is ... imperative as a furtherance of‚ and a contribution to the development‚ promotion and use of isiXhosa as an official language of South Africa."

Last year‚ Dr Hleze Kunju became the first PhD student at Rhodes University to write his thesis in IsiXhosa.

-Daily Dispatch 

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