University of Iowa

In the news: Speaker, writer, mathematician: Multifaceted Mohutsiwa calls Iowa City home

March 27th, 2019

Assistant Professor Siyanda Mohutsiwa poses for a portrait at Dey House on Monday, March 25, 2019. Now verified with almost 40K Twitter followers, Mohutsiwa spoke in a 2016 TED Talk about how African American youth are finding their voices on Twitter.

Kinsey Phipps, The Daily Iowan

Siyanda Mohutsiwa was in her home country of Botswana studying mathematics when she met the writer J.C. Hallman at a Catholic orphanage. He told her about a place in the U.S. called Iowa City, where the best writers in the world come to study.

Before then, Mohutsiwa had no idea writing was a career option for her, she said, though she had written professionally since she was 12. A teacher of hers recognized Mohutsiwa’s talent and got her a weekly column in a national paper.

By the time she was 19, Mohutsiwa had thousands of Twitter followers and a YouTube channel on which she spoke about African literature, and she had written more than 40 nonfiction pieces published all over Africa, she said.

Specifically, she used Twitter as a platform to connect youth across the continent.

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