UFH Celebrates and Honours Chief Tyali

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University of Fort Hare is yet to correct history and the perception that the university was built due to the land contribution made available by Scotland Missionaries when it honours the late Chief Tyali on a series of commemoration events this September in recognition of the role he played in societal development, education in particular.

Witnessed to be strategic in thinking and action, before his untimely death on the 12th of May 1842, Tyali had started negotiations where some of his land was donated for the future development, which would later be the birth of Lovedale College and the University of Fort Hare. The donation made by Chief Tyali to the Scotland Missionaries was strictly for educational purposes which indeed came into fruition.

As illustrated by T.J Stapleton in his book titled ‘Maqoma: Xhosa resistance to colonial advance’ some chiefs were African nationalist and thus conceived strategies of understanding and infiltrating the missionary system. The granting of land by Chief Tyali to the Scottish missionaries illustrates some calculated strategies of trying to gain intelligence of the colonial missionary system by African leaders. He was conveying the intelligence of Chief Tyali which can be perceived as way before his time in this regard.

Last year the University of Fort Hare celebrated its 100th anniversary and the university in partnership with The House of Traditional Leaders, Provincial Government, The National Heritage Council and Raymond Mhlaba Municipality saw that it was only befitting to honour Chief Tyali for his generous contribution which has had a positive ripple effect since its foundation.

Eastern Cape Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture MEC, Penny Majodina said that the development became a fountain of knowledge for the African child and rewriting the African child’s history. She paid those sentiments at Tyali’s renovated gravesite unveiling at Tyali’s Woburn Great Place in late 2016.

University of Fort Hare is yet to hold a series of events in commemoration of Chief Tyali for his great contribution. The events will consist of a Fun run on the 16th of September, a memorial lecture (the date is yet to be decided upon).


By Akhona Mshiywa