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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 appoints Dr Khotso Mokhele as Chancellor
2010-06-04

Dr Khotso Mokhele as Chancellor, University of the Free State
  Dr Khotso Mokhele
The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) appointed Dr Khotso Mokhele as Chancellor during its quarterly meeting held on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein today.

“It is an honour for the Council to appoint someone of this stature as Chancellor of the UFS. With his solid academic background and high profile in the business world, Dr Mokhele is a great asset to the UFS,” said Judge Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council.

Dr Mokhele is a graduate of the University of Fort Hare and did his postgraduate studies at the University of California in the USA. He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in the USA. Dr Mokhele has eight honorary doctorate degrees from South African tertiary institutions – among others the UFS – as well as an honorary doctorate degree from Rutgers University in the USA. He holds post doctoral fellowships from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, both in the USA.

Dr Mokhele was founder president and chief executive officer of the National Research Foundation (NRF), as well as founder president of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

He holds non-executive positions on the boards of several national companies, among others as the Chairman of Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd, non-executive chairman of Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd and non-executive director of both African Oxygen Ltd and Tiger Brands Ltd.

He is currently Chairperson of the selection committee of the Rhodes Scholarships for Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, member of the Committee on Developing and Transition Economy Countries of the International Social Sciences Council (ISSC) and member of the Review Committee assessing VW Foundation research funding in Sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Central Asian/Caucasus Republics.

Dr Mokhele received the Lifetime Achievement Technology Top 100 award in 2009 for his vision and major contribution in securing the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), constructed outside Sutherland in the Northern Cape.

Dr Mokhele’s succeeds Dr Franklin Sonn, who retired as Chancellor of the UFS at the end of 2009.

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

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