Prof Wannie Carstens, former director of the NWU’s School of Languages, nominated Prof Ena Jansen for the honorary doctorate.
Flying the flag high for Afrikaans
Prof Ena Jansen, who has lived in Amsterdam since 2002, started her academic career in South Africa in 1972 at Stellenbosch University.
From there she moved to the University of the Witwatersrand in 1984, building a highly esteemed academic career. Then, between 20013 and 2016, she filled the sought-after position of professor in the “leerstoel Zuid-Afrikaanse letterkunde” (chair for South African literature) at Amsterdam University.
Ena also played a big role in retaining Zuid-Afrika-Huis (ZAH) in Amsterdam as an asset for Afrikaans and South Africa, and in developing it even further. The modernised ZAH is now once more the place in Amsterdam where people gather to promote the interests of Afrikaans in the Dutch context.
NWU honoursmedical and language experts
The NWU recently conferred honorary doctorates on a seasoned cardiologist, author and academic, and an internationally known scholar who has made an outstanding contribution towards promoting Afrikaans in the Low Countries (the Netherlands and Belgium).
Prof Kubedi Patrick Mokhobo, who is credited with being the first African cardiologist in Southern African countries such as Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa, received an honorary doctorate during the campus in Mahikeng’s recent spring graduation ceremony.
Language activist Prof Ena Jansen was honoured by the campus in Potchefstroom for her enormous contribution towards reviving the status of Afrikaans as a subject in the Low Countries.
Moving from nowhere to somewhere
Prof Kubedi Mokhobo is known for his extensive contribution in the field of cardiology and his devotion to giving indigent people access to affordable medical care. Both these roles are described in his biography, titled From Nowhere to Somewhere: An unchartered destiny.
This book is also about his personal life story. Having grown up without a father and been adopted by various people, he only started school when he was 10 years old. However, he condensed his schooling at small rural schools into a short, intensive period of time, and eventually studied at institutions such as Wits and the Rigs Hospital Copenhagen.
Kubedi’s achievements include being instrumental in reorganising mission hospitals into state-owned facilities and initiating a nursing practitioner programme that formed the basis of the training offered by the South African Nursing Council.
His contribution further extended to teaching and learning in health sciences, in particular the nursing department of the former University of Bophuthatswana (now the NWU).
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