Dr Bongani Ngqulunga, Director: Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has won the Best Non-Fiction Monograph award for his non-fiction book, The Man Who Founded the ANC: A Biography of Pixley ka Isaka Seme, at the prestigious 2019 Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Awards held on Thursday, 14 March 2019.
Dr Ngqulunga’s book on Pixley ka Isaka Seme offers a biographical journey of the man who, at the age of 30, in 1912, formed a political organisation that represented all black South Africans. Yet, when he became President General of the ANC in the 1930s, he brought it to its knees. The book traces his triumphs and challenges, beginning with his humble formative years at Inanda Mission, to his death in 1951.
What makes the HSS Awards significant is that the judging panel is constituted by eleven leading scholars, led by Prof Hlonipha Mokoena, in the humanities and social sciences. In 2018, Dr Ngqulunga’s book also scooped the Alan Paton Award, the most prestigious literary award in South Africa.