Lifetime Achievement Literary Award
Johan Lenake was born on 15 January 1929. He obtained the BA degree majoring in Southern Sotho and Psychology in 1962 and the BA Honours degree in African languages in 1964 from UNISA. The title of his MA degree in African languages was, “B.M. Khaketla as Dramakunstenaar” and he obtained this from UNISA in 1973. In 1983 he obtained the PhD in African languages from UNISA and the title of his thesis was, “The Poetry of K E Ntsane”.
Johan Lenake taught Southern Sotho for a period of 43 years. During this long career as an outstanding Southern Sotho teacher, he filled positions at all levels. He was a language teacher for 8 years at schools in Theunnissen and Frankfort. He was the principal of a school for 4 years in Fouriesburg. He started to work as a language assistant at UNISA in 1963. He held this position for 16 years. He was promoted to senior lecturer at UNISA in 1979 and held this position for 6 years. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and to full professor in 1987. He has held this position until 1993 when he retired from UNISA.
After 1993 he held various positions as African languages consultant, among other places, at the North-West University’s Vaal Triangle campus. At 87 years of age, he teaches communication Southern Sotho at the NWU and he is a member of the Committee for Advanced Degrees for African languages. During his working career, professor Lenake developed 16 school books and 14 academic books for use in Southern Sotho teaching and learning. Professor Lenake also worked as a language practitioner and he published 5 translations of works into Southern Sotho and a host of Afrikaans and English language teaching material used at schools.