AAR 10th Anniversary Conference
The Manhattan Hotel, Pretoria
The African Association completed its 10th Anniversary conference with renewed vision and vigor for the future. The Project that started at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on 3rd July, 2007, has grown and transmigrated to different locations within the continent of Africa and elsewhere. The first conference at the Malherbe Library, UKZN, considered the subject, Rhetoric, Protests and the Economy. This was a time when the frequency of protests in South Africa was as high as 6500 a year. Perhaps the highest in the world. Since then, the Association has dealt with other themes such as, Rhetoric in the Time of AIDS: African ‘Perspectives, Intercultural Negotiation of the Global Space: African Perspectives, Rhetoric and Political Leadership, Transitions and Transformative Rhetoric, Rhetoric, Transformational Leadership and W. E. B. Du Bois, The Rhetoric of Good Governance, and in 2017, Media, Rhetoric and Development in Africa.
This year’s conference was jointly organised by the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR) and some members of the Department of English, University of South Africa (UNISA). The faculty members include Dr Josephine Alexander (co-convener), Dr Raphael D’Abdon (co-convener), Professor Mike Masemola, and Professor Mirriam Lephalala (HoD), Professor Chaka Chaka, Dr Ntombi Mohlab-Tlaka, Dr Clifford Sibusiso Ndlangamandla and Mokgadi Joyce Seshibedi. Representing the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR) are Dr Earl Etienne (Howard University) and Dr Segun Ige, President of the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR), also faculty member at Howard University.
Keynote Speakers at this year’s conference include: Professor Pius Adesanmi, Director of African Studies and Professor of English, Carleton University Ottawa, Mr Fred Khumalo, Author and Columnist; Professor Gilbert Motsaathebe, UNISA, Emirates, and Professor Mpho Chaka, University of the North West. Scholars and researchers came from different parts of continent. For the first time, delegates came from Kenya, East Africa. These include: Dr Racheal Diang’a, Dr Murej Mak’Ocheing and Dr Ruth Aoko Owino. Professor Jairos Kangira, Dean of Humanities, University of Namibia and Dr Rewai Makamani, the Polytechnic Namibia, two founding members of the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR) also made sterling contributions to this year’s edition. Dr Enna Sakutai Gudhlanga, Open University Zimbabwe also presented on a memorable topic: ‘Knock, knock, knock. . . ’ Although some scholars could not make it, Dr Olugbenga Elegbe, a faculty member in the Department of Communications and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, was comfortable participating via skype. Dr Tyechia Lynn Thompson , Howard Faculty member presented on Mixtape.
Many Scholars from South African institutions also participated. Dr Musawenkosi Ndovu, University of Cape Town, Dr Adebayo Fayoyin, UNFPA, Dr John Hurst, President, AFDA Council Professor Puleng Segalo, Dr Naomi Nkealah, Dr Chilombo Mbenga and Dr William Mpofu. Also honored at the Gala Dinner, were Professors Ari Sitas and Dasarath who were instrumental the founding and establishment of the African Rhetoric Project, at UKZN, and for strategy and operations, the Association gave awards to Mr Obed Qulo and Professor Timothy Quinlan [in absentia] whose contributions help to consolidate activities of the Association.
Numerous suggestions and recommendations for future projects and activities were made by the Keynote Speakers and Roundtable Panelists.
The Conference was sponsored by the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and African Journal of Rhetoric (AJR).