Professor Deuteronomy Bhekinkosi Zeblon (D.B.Z.) Ntuli was Unisa’s first black associate professor and then full professor. He holds a Doctorate in Letters (D.Litt.) from Unisa, awarded in 1978.
Professor Ntuli is the prolific author of a significant body of literature in Zulu, including more than 60 novels, short stories, poems, essays and histories. His work has won many literary awards (including, on four occasions, the prestigious B.W. Vilakazi Award) and has inspired at least six doctoral theses. He is also a leading translator, having rendered Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom (Uhambo olude oluya enkululekweni) and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (UMpholofethi) and other notable works into Zulu. Ntuli was born in Eshowe, Zululand. He completed his first degree at the University College of Zululand and joined Unisa in 1967 as a lecturer in the Department of African Languages. During his 32 years with Unisa, he completed his MA and doctorate on the poetry of B.W. Vilakazi, and later headed the Sub-department of Zulu until his retirement in 1999. He served on the Usiba Writers’ Guild and the Council of the University of Zululand. Unisa conferred on him the title of emeritus professor after his retirement.