Dr Thato Nkhatho. Picture: Facebook
Dr Thato Nkhatho. Picture: Facebook

Thespian Thato Nkhatho awarded with honorary doctorate

By Kedibone Modise Time of article published Apr 30, 2021

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Legendary actor, playwright and author Khotso Nkhatho received an Honorary Doctorate in Communication and Language Practice from the Central University of Technology (CUT), in the Free State.

Taking to their official social media pages, CUT made the announcement on Thursday, also paying homage to the industry icon for his immense contribution to the conservation of the Sesotho language.

“As a Free Stater by birth, Dr Nkhatho is a great ambassador for our province. He is a qualified educator, which is what the CUT Faculty of Humanities strives to produce with students who enrol for further studies in education.

“As the University is currently revising its language policy, Dr Nkhatho’s experience and knowledge of Sesotho and acting represent what the faculty strives to achieve,” read the statement issued by the university.

“From the Department of Communication Sciences to the Department of Design and Studio Art, Khotso Nkhatho’s influence has left an indelible mark.

“Dr Nkhatho seeks to develop upcoming artists, who often include CUT students, as he usually casts them in his Sesotho plays, which are broadcast on Lesedi FM,” added the CUT statement.

This accolade comes two years after Dr Nkhatho was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas), for his valuable contribution as an actor, presenter, scriptwriter and producer for the past four decades.

Born in Ventersburg, Free State in 1953, Nkhatho’s acting career kicked off at the age of 15 in school dramas.

He continued to pursue his passion for acting at college in QwaQwa, where he was trained as a teacher. He continued to pursue his passion for acting at college there, where he was trained as a teacher.

Dr Nkhatho was 24 when he wrote his first radio drama serial in 1977. It was broadcast on Radio Sesotho (now Lesedi FM) and won him the first prize of R200, during a radio drama competition.

He subsequently left teaching for full-time employment as a presenter and producer of Sesotho dramas in at the radio Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

With the launch of black television in 1982, he joined TV2, the channel that included Sesotho languages, as an actor, language advisor, screenwriter and script evaluator.

He starred in numerous television drama series including “Mopheme”, “Mmalonya,” “Pholoso”, “Mafahla a Lahlaneng” and “Thabure”, where he established his reputation as the finest Sesotho speaking actor of all time.

The Star was the first media house to recognise his natural abilities in front of rolling cameras when he won The Star Tonight Awards in 1990 for best actor in a television drama (Mopheme).

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