‘Firing with the pen’: Centring the intellectual legacy of Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 40, issue 1, 2020 , pages: 26–31
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2020.1733821
Author(s): Phil NdlelaDepartment of English, South Africa


This article celebrates the eclectic and politically engaged oeuvre of Phyllis Ntantala-Jordan, one of South Africa’s foremost and insurgent black women intellectuals. She lost her mother at a tender age and was single-handedly raised by a value-oriented father who consciously instilled humanistic values in her that later served as her moral compass. Her father’s pivotal nurturing role gave her life meaning and purpose. I argue that throughout her rich and politically engaged intellectual life, her home in rural Transkei surfaces as a ‘site of resistance’ that ignited and nurtured her political and moral consciousness. Women’s issues featured prominently in her scholar-activism.

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