Njabulo Ndebele is a past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, where he served two terms. He has a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.
He was a previous Ford Foundation Scholar-in-Residence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the North, and Vice-Rector of the University of the Western Cape. He holds honorary doctorates from universities in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Japan, South Africa and the United States.
He is currently chairman of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the MTN (SA) Foundation.
He is also the president of the UBLS Association. His novel, The Cry of Winnie Mandela, was published to critical acclaim in 2003 (a revised edition was published in 2013). As a public figure, he is known for his incisive insights on a range of public issues in South Africa.