A proud Stellenbosch University entity, African Sun Media has been ringing in the changes, and in so doing, putting SU at the fore of scholarly publishing.
Under the stewardship of newly appointed Managing Director Nirode Bramdaw, African Sun Media received exemplary citation as the foremost university press in South Africa, in the Mellon Foundation-funded research by Universities South Africa.
In his foreword, CEO of Universities South Africa, Prof Ahmed Bawa says: “Scholarly publishing is at the very heart of the academic enterprise… The presses belong to us. They ought to be built and defended. If for no other reason than to ensure that we make a small, but indelible dent on the geopolitics of knowledge, so heavily shaped by western metropoles.”
Bramdaw added, “In my participation in the research, I found that the African Sun Media corporate model is unique and the only financially sustainable scholarly press amongst our peers. Sadly many of them are seen as an adjunct to the academic process and side-lined into the dangerous realm of anti-intellectualism.”
Bramdaw is a publisher, writer, journalist and occasional poet, who has set African Sun Media on a new trajectory. “I often say that I have turned this company on its head. And in so doing, have totally transformed its values, brand, and management structure in the first two months of being in office.”
Bramdaw’s vision for African Sun Media is to make it academically and professionally relevant in publishing in Africa. “We are all Africans. All of us. We need to make that mark globally and extend our knowledge and research so that we are recognised for our excellence, and our unique and indigenous knowledge systems.”
In taking the helm of African Sun Media, Bramdaw founded the African Sun Foundation, which has three pillars – literacy, youth and environment. “The call of the hour is poverty and unemployment and we seek to break this cycle of poverty with increased literacy (Maths, English and Afrikaans) in the neighbouring communities, in partnership with Stellenbosch University, and in particular Dr Gillian Arendse, my friend.”
The African Sun Foundation has also adopted Stellenbosch Child Welfare as its charity and plans on doing regular clean-up campaigns of the Eerste Rivier.
“I want to do things differently. African Sun Media will push the envelope of academic and creative freedom. We will publish, in partnership with Stellenbosch University Museum, an anthology of previously banned and unpublished poetry by the legendary South African poet, Dr James Matthews.”
This is the first in what he titles the African Sun Heritage Series, which will include South Africa’s Poet Laureate, Dr Mongane Wally Serote, amongst others.
“But aside from all this intellectually engaging activity, we have a very competent creative and production capability which is housed on the campus in Admin A and I invite everyone to visit and meet with our team to discuss their design and print requirements, and beckon us to our new motto: Challenge Accepted!”
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