Siseko H Kumalo does not want to live a mediocre life, so he makes sure he is not complacent. He also works to give the world the tools to do better, to care for the marginalised and to think deeply about the disenfranchised. He founded the Journal of Decolonising Disciplines, an open-access publication that aims to investigate, develop and critique decolonising strategies.
Describing the journey that brought him here, he recounts having “the strangest, but also most fulfilling experience working with the Literary Association of South Africa. The ability to read beyond my discipline has given me deeper insights into some of the questions I pose vis-a-vis the democratic project in South Africa.”
He emphasises the importance of trusting oneself. “You may be a strange character and you may be a social pariah. Walk to the beat of your own drum but never forget to be humble,” he says, because no matter how educated a person is, these characteristics remain important.
His wish is to see South Africa’s policy mirroring reality.
“My desire lies in facilitating the development of a language (a lexicography) that allows society to understand itself, such that it is best positioned to stem its bigoted, racialised and classist differentials. Making the world a better place for those who, like me, are the margins of society is what gives me the courage to wake up every morning,” says Kumalo.
He wants to see a world that ensures everyone is free.