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27 August 2018 Photo Sonia Small
Prof Thuli Madonsela persuades women to pursue their purpose
Discovering that she was “pretty” for her purpose gave Prof-Adv Thuli Madonsela’s life direction.

What does embracing womanhood mean? For Prof Thuli Madonsela it is about loving yourself and whatever you believe is your purpose in life. 

“All of us are designed for our purpose and are fit for our purpose, you should embrace that and make the best of it,” said South Africa’s former Public Protector in her keynote address to the Women’s Breakfast. In commemoration of Women’s Month, the University of the Free State (UFS)’s Employee Wellness Division hosted the annual event on 21 August 2018 where 900 women gathered under the theme: ‘Embrace your womanhood.’ 

Being a woman today


Law Professor and Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, Prof Madonsela, urged the audience to look beyond the exterior and recognise “that we as individuals have a lot in common”. Speaking of unity in diversity, she praised some of the giants on whose shoulders modern women stand, such as Charlotte Maxeke, Olive Schreiner, Una Wookey, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Helen Joseph, Pam Golding, Bessie Head, and Ellen Khuzwayo.

These leaders are the epitome of following the purpose of “embracing everyone’s humanity and challenging things that diminish the humanity of others”, according to Prof Madonsela.

Remaining resilient and resolute 

Despite having to contend with a patriarchal system and face challenges such as gender-based violence, femicide, poverty, inequity, media stereotypes, as well as poverty, women continue to rise. Prof Madonsela called for women to capitalise on positives such as freedom and possessing a certain degree of power, legal equality, playing a role in political spaces, economic progress, and owning a public voice.

Drawing inspiration from her humble beginnings and the lessons learnt in leadership, Prof Madonsela conveyed a simple message to all women: “You are exactly as you should be. You are a perfect expression of your creator’s magnificence. You were created for a purpose and whatever you do, just step up and pursue your purpose.”

A word from an inspired woman

It was a memorable event for Burneline Kaars, Head of Employee Wellness. “This year it was an honour to host Prof Madonsela who could share both her academic background and professional experience. She accomplished this by skilfully incorporating lessons from our country’s history and her passion for justice,” she said.

News Archive

UFS welcomes Prof Francis Petersen in style
2017-05-19

 

Description: Bloem welcoming celebration web story photo Tags: Bloem welcoming celebration web story photo

Photo: Johan Roux

 

Photo Gallery

Through a series of joyous events, the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Qwaqwa, South, and Bloemfontein Campuses officially welcomed Prof Francis Petersen as the 14th Rector of the UFS during the past week.

Celebrations end on a high note
The Bloemfontein Campus would not be upstaged and they came out in full support. Performances by staff and student talent impressed the crowd. Invited school performances brought flair and a youthful energy to the celebrations.

Prof Petersen thanked all in attendance, including his family. “It has been a great time of prosperity and well wishes from all three campuses. I have experienced a sense of belonging. I want this experience for all staff, students, and for all those who visit our campus,” said Prof Petersen.

“There is an African idiom that says: ‘If you want to go fast, travel alone; but if you want to travel far, travel together’. If we want to go far as an institution, we will all need to travel together and that means working together,” Prof Petersen added.

Prof Petersen concluded by stating that the UFS is a good institution, but together, it will be a great institution, not just in Bloemfontein or the Free State, but in South Africa, in Africa, and finally globally.

 

Description: Bloem Welcoming photo 2 Tags: Bloem Welcoming photo 2

Prof Francis Petersen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS
Photo: Johan Roux


 

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