The late Dr Itani Patrick Demana with one of his daughters, Muanalo. Photo: supplied.
The death of the multiple-award-winning author, Dr Itani Patrick Demana, has left a deep void within local communities. Demana (73) passed away on Wednesday, 8 December.
His daughter, Muanalo Demana, said her father’s death left the family feeling very emotional. “I want my father to be remembered as a noble man who loved people,” she said.
Spokesperson of the Tshivhase royal dynasty Musanda Vho-Luvhaivhai Tshivhase said the family members were saddened by the death of the well-known author. “We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Demana family as a whole, friends, colleagues and the Vhavenda nation on the passing of a legend. We are deeply sorry for the pain you are experiencing that is caused by your loss at the moment,” Tshivhase said.
Demana was born on 17 December 1948 in Tshitereke village outside Thohoyandou. He was the second-born child of the late Tshifaro Andries and Muanalo Demana. He started his educational studies at Vhufuli Primary School and completed his matric in 1968 at the Vendaland Training Institute.
In 1973, he studied high-school teaching at Turfloop University (University of Limpopo) and started his journey as a teacher at Tshivhase Secondary School from 1976 to 1978. In 1979, he was promoted to become a principal at Makwarani Secondary School until 1980. He went back to Tshivhase Secondary School in 1981 and this time around he was a principal until 1991. Between 1993 and 2008, he was principal at Mushaathoni Secondary School, and in 2009, he went on to become a curriculum advisor until he retired in 2013.
Demana obtained his PhD at the University of Limpopo in 2007 and wrote 11 books, namely Thilaiwi (novel, 1974), Nzumbululo (short stories, 1976), Thonga I pfi ndo vhada (novel, 1980), Mitshelo (short stories, 1981), a joint contribution with TN Maumela, TN Makuya and UM Ramaite, U lema hu fhira u lotshelwa (drama, 1988), Tovhowani (novel, 1992), Ndi he zwa da ngaho (short story, 1992), Zwi da hani (short stories, 1996), Thambatshira (drama), Dikitela (short stories), and Vho Mbeda.
In 1994, he won the Venda Language Board Award for Best Short Story (Ndi he zwa da ngaho), in 1996 he won the JL Van Schaiks and Metropolitan Life Award for his short story book, Zwi da hani, and in 1998 he won the African Languages Literature Award.
Demana was buried on Tuesday, 14 December 2021. He is survived by his 12 children.
Date:17 December 2021 - By: Maanda Bele
Maanda Bele, born and raised in Nzhelele Siloam, studied journalism at the Tshwane University of Technology.
He is passionate about current news and international affairs.
He worked as part of the Zoutnet team as an intern in 2017.
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