Mr Henry Sifiso Gumede of the School of IsiZulu Studies on the Howard College campus has become the first black African lecturer to introduce and teach the language as a course at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in South Korea.

Mr Gumede spent 10 months at the university’s African Studies Department last year teaching undergraduate and post-graduate students. Modules included selected authors of African drama, research methodology and isiZulu language.

Professor Yong Kyu Chang, Head of Department in the South Korean University’s African Studies Division and a former PhD student on the Howard College campus, facilitated the visit. Professor Chang did basic IsiZulu Language Studies when he was a student at UKZN.

Mr Gumede was invited to teach IsiZulu because of the interest in the language shown by students at the University. “It was an unbelievable experience – however, the environment and lifestyle are different and it was quite a challenge to adjust at first,” he said.

During his visit, Mr Gumede worked with international scholars from countries such as Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Italy, Romania and Iraq.

Mr Gumede said the experience benefited him both as an academic and as an individual. “I had an opportunity to promote UKZN and South Africa to South Korean people.”