Pringle prize for Bay man

Qhamani Lingani

CHARLES van Renen’s hard work and sleepless nights have paid off and he has been awarded a Thomas Pringle Award by the English Academy of Southern Africa for his article “Dahl’s chickens: How do they roost in the 21st century?”, published in the Journal for Language Teaching.

Van Renen is a senior lecturer in Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s education faculty, but is due to retire next month.

His field of specialisation is English methodology and children’s literature.

Before being appointed at NMMU he was a lecturer at the Port Elizabeth campus of Vista University, a senior research officer with the Molteno Project at Rhodes University and a lecturer at the Graaff- Reinet Teachers’ College.

He said: “It feels great to have work acknowledged that I put a lot of effort into and had a lot of fun writing.”

The Thomas Pringle is awarded annually for work published in journals, periodicals and newspapers and is named in honour of Scottish poet and abolitionist Thomas Pringle, known as the father of South African poetry.

The awards are administered by the English Academy of South Africa.

“The English Academy people read work published in different categories in South Africa and make their decisions based on that.

“I had no idea they were looking at my work. As I am retiring from NMMU at the end of this year, it is very affirming to have one’s work recognised, work that has so much to do with my approach to teacher education in the field of English and children’s literature.”

Van Renen’s choice of article is not only due to his love of literature. He has long had an interest in Roald Dahl children’s books, since he was at the teachers’ college

He took top honours in the educational article category, which he won jointly with Aslam Fataar for his article “Youth self-formation and the ‘capacity to aspire’: The itinerant ‘schooled career’ of Fuzile Ali across post-apartheid space”.

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