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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 takes the lead in solar heating in the Free State
2010-06-03

In the “engine room” of the solar heating system of the Vergeet-my-nie Residence with the big hot water tanks in the background. From the left are Mr Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer of the UFS, and Mr Nico Janse van Renburg, Manager: Physical Planning at the UFS.
Photo: Leatitia Pienaar


The University of the Free State (UFS) took a further step in reducing its carbon footprint and its dependency on coal fired electricity with the installation of a solar heating system at one of its residences. The contractor handed the system over to the UFS on Wednesday, 2 June 2010.

The system installed at the Vergeet-my-nie Residence is the first commercial solar water heating project in both Bloemfontein and at the UFS. It is estimated that it will provide in 70% of the residence’s energy needs and save approximately R101 000 per annum in electricity cost. The project was completed at a cost of R2,4 million.

More residences at the UFS will be refurbished with solar systems as the existing heating systems in the rest of the twenty residences are due for replacement.

The energy crisis of 2008, and the challenges and necessity to reduce the use of electricity, sparked the initiative around the installation of solar heating systems at the UFS. The UFS is the second largest energy user in Bloemfontein.

Mr Nico Janse van Rensburg, Manager: Physical Planning at the UFS, says the management of the UFS saw an opportunity in the crisis and pro-actively embarked to become a market leader. Solar heating would not only alleviate the electricity problem of South Africa, but will impact the ever increasing electricity bill of the UFS.

“Protecting the environment and being on the cutting edge of technology are core issues to the UFS,” says Janse van Rensburg. “We are an educational institution and take pride in practicing what we preach.”

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication (acting)
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl@ufs.ac.za  
3 June 2010
 

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