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13 September 2022
UWC writer-in-residence presents Vice-Chancellor with copy of new book
Tears welled up in Professor André Odendaal’s eyes. He composed himself and continued writing a note for University of the Western Cape (UWC) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius, while signing his latest book - Dear Comrade President: How Oliver Tambo Laid The Foundations For South Africa’s Constitution.
Prof Odendaal writes a note for Prof
Pretorius, as Zohra Ebrahim looks on

“We are proud of you, André,” said Prof Pretorius with a gentle smile. It was an emotional moment for Prof Odendaal, who has a long history with UWC, as he handed over the signed copy of the book to Prof Pretorius.

“I genuinely came to say thanks. I came to UWC in July 1985 and on my first day, Jakes [Gerwel] came to greet me and welcome me. He took me to the old shop where you could buy a Coke and lunch, which was a little hokkie next to the swimming pool and we sat there in the sun…from that day I felt at home at UWC,” said Prof Odendaal. 

He joined UWC as a lecturer almost 40 years ago and in 2021 he was awarded a three-year writer-in-residence fellowship at the University.
The former first class cricketer and historian explained that UWC continues to be the home of many brilliant minds. He donated copies of his book to the institution. 

“The book looks into the dispossessed or black South Africans who basically imagined, engineered and won their own freedom and laid the whole framework for change,” he explained. 

Included in his donation of books were copies of Shallows and Hawke - English Cricket Tours, The MCC and the Making of South Africa 1886-1986, Robben Island and Rainbow Dreams, Pitch Battles - Sport, Racism and Resistance. Divided Country - The History Of South African Cricket Retold, and Cricket & Conquest - The History Of South African Cricket Retold.

Prof Odendaal’s wife, Zohra Ebrahim, added at the presentation of the book to the Prof Pretorius: “You know this comes full circle because a lot of his energies were shaped by people at UWC.”
UWC Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Tyrone Pretorius receives his copy of Dear Comrade President from author Professor André Odendaal with Odendaal's wife Zohra Ebrahim and UWC's Institutional Planner, Larry Pokpas also in attendance
For more images of the book handover (all by Nashira Davids/UWC Media), see the gallery below: