Saturday, October 20, 2012

Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo: Zulu, Writer, Educator, and Pioneer South African Librarian


Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo (also known as H.I.E. Dhlomo) was appointed the first librarian-organizer for the Carnegie Non-European Library Service (Transvaal) in 1937. A Zulu, Mr. Dhlomo was born in 1903 in Siyama Village in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. In his role as librarian-organizer, Mr. Dhlomo helped promote library services to the black populations of South Africa. He left the Carnegie Non-European Library Service (Transvaal) in 1940. Mr. Dhlomo later served as librarian for the Ndongeni Bantu Library of the Durban Bantu Social Centre.

In addition to being a librarian, Mr. Dhlomo was a teacher, journalist, playwright, author, musician, and newspaper editor. He was part of the New African Movement, and wrote for the newspapers Umteteli wa Bantu and Ilanga Lase Natal. He was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and co-founded the National Union of African Youth (NUAY). Mr. Dhlomo passed away in 1956 in Durban, South Africa.

According to the WorldCat database, Tim Couzens published a biography in 1986 on Herbert Dhlomo called The New African: A Study of the Life and Work of H.I.E. Dhlomo. Another biography on Herbert Dhlomo, The Cultural Modernity of H.I.E. Dhlomo, was written by Ntongela Masilela in 2007. In 1985, a collection of Herbert Dhlomo's literary works were published in H.I.E. Dhlomo: Collected Works (edited by Tim Couzens and Nick Visser).

In 1999, Pitzer College in Claremont, California established the H.I.E. Dhlomo Center for African Intellectual History.

See related post: Carnegie Non-European Library Service (Transvaal) of South Africa

Update 12/09/2012:

Rolfes Robert Reginald Dhlomo (also known as R.R.R. Dhlomo) was the brother of Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo. Born in 1901, Rolfes Robert Reginald Dhlomo was the author of An African Tragedy: A Novel in English by A Zulu Writer, UShaka (Chaka): A Zulu Historical Novel of the Life of King Chaka, and Ucetshwayo: A Zulu Novel.  He also published stories in the newpapers Bantu World and Sjambok, and worked with his brother for the newspaper Ilanga Lase Natal. Both brothers were members of the Bantu Social Centre in Durban, South Africa. Rolfes Robert Reginald Dhlomo passed away in 1971.

See: Gaylard, Rob. "R.R.R. Dhlomo and the Early Black South African Short Story in English." Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern African 17.1 (2005): 52-69. Print. ; Cele, Mwelela. "Consolidation of  Common Purpose: A Brief History of the Durban Bantu Social Centre." The Thinker: For the Thought Leaders 33 (2011): 35, 37. PDF file. ; Manus, Vicki, Briault. Emerging Traditions: Toward a Postcolonial Stylistics of Black South African Fiction in English. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011. 6, 42-44, 47. Print.

*Update 01/13/2013:

Both Herbert Dhlomo and his brother Rolfes Dhlomo attended Adams College, a school created for the education of black South Africans. Adams College was founded by Dr. Newton Adams of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1853, and is located in Amanzimtoti, South Africa. The school is still in operation today.

Note: The town of Amanzimtoti is said to have received its named from King Shaka, who ruled the Zulu nation from about 1816 until his assasination in 1828. During one of his military journeys, King Shaka stopped to drink water from a nearby river and said "Kanti amanz'amtoti" (means "So, the water is sweet" in Zulu). Today, Amanzimtoti is a popular tourist attraction and is home of the Umdoni Bird Sanctuary.

See: "Deaths." The Missionary Herald 67 (1871): 28-29. Print. ; Dube, Ernest F. "The Relationship between Racism and Education in South Africa." Harvard Educational Review 55.1 (1985): 95-96. Print. ; "American Board of Missions." Missionary Register  Feb. 1848: 67. Print. ; "King Shaka Zulu." South African History Online: Towards a People's History. South African History Online, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013. ; "Durban, South Africa (Amanzimtoti, UmKomaas)." South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013. ; "Historical Background." Adams College.  Adams College, 2013. Web. 13 Jan. 2013. ; Virji, Sumaiya. "Herbert Ernest Dhlomo." South African History Online: Towards a People's History. South African History Online, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Manus, Vicki, Briault. Emerging Traditions: Toward a Postcolonial Stylistics of Black South African Fiction in English. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011. 6, 42-44, 47. Print.

Sources: Evers, R. Alain. "The Pioneers: Herbert Isaac Ernest Dhlomo and the Development of Library Service to the African in South Africa." Third World Libraries 3.2 (1993):n.pag. Web. 12 Feb. 2012. ; Kalley, Jacqueline. Apartheid in South African Libraries: The Transvaal Experience. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2000. 39. Print. ; Rochester, Maxine K. "The Carnegie Corporation and South Africa: Non-European Library Services." Libraries & Culture 34.1 (1999): 36-37, 39, 41-43, 45. Print. ; Jones, Reinette. "Kentucky Carnegie Colored Libraries International Influence." Notable Kentucky African Americans Database: Librarians. University of Kentucky Libraries, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2012. ; Bell, Fiona. "The Carnegie Corporation Decides on Racially-Segregated Libraries in South Africa in 1928: Negrophilist or Segregationist?" Library & Information History 25.3 (2009): 184-185. Print. ; Cele, Mwelela. "Edendale's Literary Pioneer." The Witness 25 Jan. 2012:n.pag. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Language, Literature, and Intellectual History in South Africa: A Conversation about the New African Movement between Ntongela Masilela and Sandile Ngidi. Claremont: Pitzer College, 2005. PDF file. ; "A Brief History of the African National Congress." African National Congress: South Africa's National Liberation Movement. ANC, 2011. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Masilela, Ntongela. The New African Movement: The Early Years. Claremont: Pitzer College, n.d. PDF file. ; Cele, Mwelela. "Consolidation of A Common Purpose: A Brief History of the Durban Bantu Social Centre." The Thinker: For the Thought Leaders 33 (2011): 34-38. PDF file. ; Cele, Mwelela. "Turning Oppression into Power." The Witness 17 Jan. 2012:n.pag. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; "Africa." The Crisis 40.6 (1933):137. Print. ; Cobley, Alan G. "Literacy, Libraries, and Consciousness: The Provision of Library Services for Blacks in South Africa in the Pre-Apartheid Era." Libraries & Culture 32.1 (1997): 57-80. Print. ; Kalley, Jacqueline A. "Libraries and Apartheid, with Particular Reference in the Transvaal, 1948-1992." Third World Libraries 6.2 (1996): n.pag. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Visser, N.W. "H.I.E. Dhlomo (1903-1956): The Re-emergence of an African Writer." English in Africa 1.2 (1974): 1-10. Print. ; Lopez, Steven. The Life and Times of HIE Dhlomo. Claremont: Pitzer College, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Virji, Sumaiya. "Herbert Ernest Dhlomo." South African History Online: Towards a People's History. South African History Online, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Terblanche, Erika. "Dhlomo, Herbert Isaac Ernest." Literatur im Kontext. Universit├Ąt Wien, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2012. ; Manus, Vicki, Briault. Emerging Traditions: Toward a Postcolonial Stylistics of Black South African Fiction in English. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2011. 10, 41-42, 46, 161. Print. ; Olden, Anthony. Libraries in Africa: Pioneers, Policies, Problems. Lanham: Scarecrow, 1995. 23-25. Print.


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