S7E2: Remembering Regina Gelana Twala

09 Mar 2023
S7E2: Remembering Regina Gelana Twala

Nosipho Mngomezulu asks Joel Cabrita about her groundbreaking new book Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala. Together, they discuss Twala’s life in South Africa and Eswatini, her writing (ethnography, fiction, letters and newspaper columns), academic gatekeeping, systems of oppression, Twala’s subversive politics as well as her family and legacy. Joel reflects on her own positionality, the ethics of biography, legal and copyright issues, and the hope that Twala’s words finally find the audience she was denied in her lifetime.

Nosipho Mngomezulu is a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at the University of the Witwatersrand and a Research Fellow in Science Communication at Stellenbosch University’s Journalism Department.

Joel Cabrita is the Susan Ford Dorsey Director of the Center for African Studies and an associate professor of African history at Stanford University. She is also a senior research associate in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Her most recent book is Written Out: The Silencing of Regina Gelana Twala (Ohio University Press and Wits University Press, 2023).

In this episode we stand in solidarity with Salma al-Shehab, a PhD student, women’s rights activist and academic. You can read more about her case here.

Nosipho and Joel share powerful messages and tributes for Salma. Nosipho reads an extract from “An Otherwise” by Solmaz Sharif and Joel reads “When the Copperplate Cracks” by Imtiaz Dharker. (You can hear Imtiaz read it here.)

Listen to the episode here: