Moloi blends civil rights, literature

For the five years Dr. Alosi Moloi has taught at the University of La Verne, he has always put his best efforts into giving a quality education to his students by combining literature with his life experiences. / photo by Brian Murphy
For the five years Dr. Alosi Moloi has taught at the University of La Verne, he has always put his best efforts into giving a quality education to his students by combining literature with his life experiences. / photo by Brian Murphy

by Rosie Sinapi
Editor in Chief

Even coupled with the flu, the husky voice of Dr. Alosi Moloi still sounds strong, partly because of his powerful soul and his pertinent message.

Dr. Moloi teaches ULV’s Major African-American Authors class, but his class teaches more than just literature. According to Moloi it “addresses our society.”

In order to understand Dr. Moloi, his intriguing past must be told. The 54-year-old was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied at two South African universities and currently holds a doctorate in Literature.

“[I came to America] first in 1969 as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching, and I came back permanently in 1971 after problems with the South African government,” he said.

He longs for the day when he and his family, which includes his wife Esther and eight children, can return permanently to their homeland. His mother and four sisters still live in South Africa.

Dr. Moloi left his homeland voluntarily due to his strong opposition to South Africa’s Anglo-European rule. For the past sixteen years, he has taught literature at Cal State Long Beach. He came to ULV five years ago and teaches Authors along with various other ethnic literature classes.

Politics has a strong hold in his life. He has been involved with politics since the formation of a South African opposing political party in 1959.

“First, [my involvement included] politically educating people, then mobilizing and then engaging in the government politics and fighting apartheid articles, addressing conferences and organizations asking them to apply pressure on the South African government,” he said.

For now, Dr. Moloi applies his message to both an international level and to his classes. He still has an active interest in stopping oppression in South Africa.

His students learn this message personally. According to Dr. Moloi, this includes looking at the injustices which are still taking place in South Africa and applying them to their lives.

“People have to fight evil, whatever it is; not necessarily with their political system, but in everyday human relations. People need to treat one another with some tolerance. People need to co-exist or we will go down together.

“People simply understanding what goes on around them and far away from them is very important,” he said. “We cannot remain isolated, thinking that because we are in one particular part of the planet that we should not be concerned with other parts of the planet.

“Students must learn that we live in a global community. We are interdependent and therefore we need to understand the problems of the world,” he said.

Dr. Moloi also wants students to understand that just because South Africa is supporting a more racially diverse government, things are not perfect. He believes that the racial situation in the United States is an example of this.

“There is talk about repealing affirmative action laws, but until people can truly compete on an equal playing field, we have to have some safe guards to protect those subjugated people,” he said.

Dr. Moloi looks forward to the day when everything will be equal for all people, even those in his homeland. And he hopes his students retain his teachings long after their class is over.

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