Thokozani “Gxaba Lembadada” Nene

Dr Thokozani Mandlenkosi Ernest Nene, known as “Gxaba Lembadada”, was born at KwaHlabisa, on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal on 19 September 1944 and moved to Chesterville in Durban. Dr Nene attended the Eshowe Government School, where he matriculated in 1965. He went on to study at the University of Zululand, Ongoye, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967. In  2001, he obtained his PhD in Philosophy at the same institution.

In 1971, Dr Nene joined the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as a news reader, translating from Afrikaans and English to isiZulu for the then Radio Bantu station, which is now known as Ukhozi FM. After serving on the Pan South African Language Board, he helped oversee the correct use and translation of many Zulu idioms and was both a source and a resource in the invention of a large number of Zulu words that have become part of South African society today.

He was the veteran newscaster and the award Winner of the Amaqhawe (heroes) Ukhozi FM. In 2004, Thokozani worked at the Supreme Court as an interpreter. Dr Nene passed away, on his birthday on 19 September 2008, at the age of 64. He was honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga in Bronze for his contribution to enriching African languages and his contribution to the development of our culture.

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