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I was born in Stutterheim, grew up at eMgwalana Emaphandleni. I grew up bilingual isiXhosa-English. I wrote my first poem when I was 12, studied at Queen's College, matriculated when I was 17 and then studied at Rhodes University where I obtained an LLB and a PhD in African literature. Since then I have worked at 5 universities, 4 in South Africa and one in America. I am presently an NRF Chair Holder in the Intellectualisation of African Languages, Multilingualism and Education at Rhodes.