SM Mofokeng

Author: SM Mofokeng

Publication: BODY OF WORK



Dr Sophonia Machabe Mofokeng was born on 1 April 1923 in Fouriesburg, in the Eastern Free State. He was the second of four children born to Mr Moni and Malisele Mofokeng. The other siblings being Lisele, Peter and Andrew Mofokeng.

He was educated at the local Dutch Reformed Church Primary School and proceeded to Stofberggedenkskool and the Adams Mission High School in Natal where he Matriculated at the age of 16 in the first class in 1939, with distinctions in Southern Sesotho and Botany.

From 1940 to 1942 he was at Fort Hare University College, where he obtained the Diploma in Education and the B.A degree with distinction in Southern Sesotho. He then took up a teaching appointment with the Johannesburg Bantu High School, and registered as a part-time student at the University of the Witwatersrand for the B.A.Hons. Degree in History.

In 1944 he was appointed a part-time Language Assistant in the Department of Bantu Studies, while continuing with his History Honours which he completed at the end of that year, thus becoming the first African B.A. Hons. Graduate in the history of this University.

In 1945 he was appointed full-time Junior Language Assistant, and immediately commenced reading for the B.A.Hons. in Bantu Languages, which was awarded to him in the first class, in March,1947.

He was afflicted with Tuberculosis in both lungs and was admitted for 18 months whereafter he was discharged from hospital and resumed with his duties at the University in 1949. In December the 26th 1949 he married Eunice Papali Letlabika in Bloemfontein. They were blessed with two children, a boy the late Dr.E.M.K Mofokeng (born 28 August 1950 and passed away 28 July 2009) and a daughter Advocate T.M.M Mofokeng (born 1st May 1952). Between the son and daughter Dr.S.M Mofokeng has 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.

In January 1949 he commenced work on the dissertation, “A Study of Folktales in Sesotho”, for which he was awarded the M.A. Degree in 1951. He wrote the following books: Senkatana, Leetong, Pelong ya ka. He proceeded to co-author with Prof C.M Doke a book entitled “Textbook of Southern Sesotho Grammer”.

Despite his recovery he later succumbed to Tuberculosis in 1957.