Professor Njabulo Ndebele is Chairman of The Nelson Mandela Foundation, and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver; Honorary Doctorates from Cambridge University, Michigan University, University of Denver, University College London, Soka University, Wesleyan University, Free University of Amsterdam, the University of the Witwatersrand, and was inaugurated as the Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg in November 2012.
He served two terms as President of the University of Cape Town following tenure as a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York.
Professor Ndebele has been a key figure in South African higher education. He has served as Chair of the South African Universities Vice-Chancellor’s Association; President of the Association of African Universities; and founding Chair of the Southern African Regional Universities’ Association.
He has chaired three South African Government Commissions on broadcasting policy, school curriculum in history, and the use of African languages as media of instruction in South African Higher Education. In 2014 he chaired the Council of Higher Education Task Team on Undergraduate Curriculum Structure in South Africa.
An award winning author, his first book Fools and Other Stories won the Noma Award, Africa’s highest literary award for the best book published in Africa in 1984. His highly influential and seminal essays on South African literature and culture were published as Rediscovery of the Ordinary. His novel The Cry of Winnie Mandela (2003) was received with acclaim. In Fine Lines from the Box: Further Thoughts about our Country (2007), he writes incisively on public issues of democracy and social change in South Africa today.