Dr Joseph Maleke Sethabela

Joseph Maleke Sethabela was born on 25 May 1974 in a village called Maboloka in the old Bophuthatswana (currently known as North West) in Brits. He is the first born son but second child of the late Anna Tiisetso Sethabela and Mtshazo Bennett “Lebabo” Guma who are both late. He was raised by his grandmother, Maria Moogo Sethabela who always used words of wisdom to instill courage into Maleke in many helpless situations after the death of both parents. Maria’s love, support and teachings shaped Maleke to be the man he is today and to have immense and unmeasureable love and passion for education. When his grandmother passed away in 1996, his aunt Nozipho Nomathemba Enerstina Guma filled Maria’s role to see him through in his educational journey until he graduated as a PhD holder with Unisa in 2019. He suffered another loss when Nomathemba passed away in 2020.


Joseph was greatly inspired by the work of Prof. Sol Chapole, Dr NJ Manyaka while he was a student at Vista University. He was inspired by Dr Phuroe in many ways to go after his educational drive, passion and quest for new knowledge which inspired him to register for a DLitt et Phil. Many others contributed greatly into his scholastic work and journey. He started his professional career in 1997, lecturing English with the former MEDUNSA (now Sefako Makgatho Medical University). He joined Gauteng Department of Education in 2001 as Sesotho HL, History and Social Science educator at Phelindaba School of Specialisation, to date. He has received numerous awards from Gauteng Education, Tshwane South District and SJJ Moseneke foundation for the best and most consistent educator in Circuit 1-4. He was appointed as the NSC Chief Examiner for Sesotho HL Prelim Papers and ABET (AET) LSCO4 and as the examiner for Sesotho HL Paper 1-3 by Department of Basic Education (DBE) since 2017. He contributed his knowledge in the development of Mind the Gap (MTG) literature study guide and Paper 3 study guide for Grade 12 Sesotho HL.


Synopsis of Postdoctoral Study

Title: Exploring and assessing the usefulness of oral literature in the 21st Century in Secondary school Curriculum based on Bakwena ba Mogopa clan praise poetry.

The fellowship programme is four-fold and aims at addressing the following topics:

  • Exploration of the oral tradition of Bakwena ba Mogopa from PhD research: This paper examines the theme of self-love which is affirmed and embedded in the indigenous praise poetry of Bakwena ba Mogopa in Jericho, Hebron and Bethanie. The paper aims at assessing and analysing few of these praise poems to determine the extent they affirm Bakwena ba Mogopa in terms of their language, culture, identity, social cohesion, and heritage.
  • Exploring Curriculum Ethics: Analysis of themes in social transition related to gender-based violence and femicide in Diphetoho a Grade 10 Sesotho drama book: This is an interdisciplinary paper which seeks to address curriculum related issues and values in education by creating social awareness on gender-based violence and femicide in one hand while on the other hand is communicating wrong message amongst the youth (as readers).
  • Exploring Curriculum Ethics: Analysis of themes in cultural ethics and contemporary adolescent behaviour in Mohaladitwe wa Dithota a Grade 10 Sesotho novel: The paper seeks to address curriculum related issues and values in education by creating social awareness on the high rate of teen pregnancy in schools from Primary to Secondary and explore and expose adolescent behaviour/conduct in general.
  • Exploring Curriculum Ethics: Analysis of themes of gender and economic inequality in post-apartheid setting in Lejwe la Kgopiso Grade 12 Sesotho drama book: The paper seeks to address curriculum related issues, values in education by exposing socio-economic inequality wounds and scars that are left in lives and minds of our people in post-apartheid setting.