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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 academics to present papers at Conference on Calvin Research
2010-07-05

Prof. Dolf Britz, Director: Jonathan Edwards Center Africa at the UFS, will be one of three UFS keynote speakers at the 10th International Congress on Calvin Research.
Photo: Provided


Three scholars from the University of the Free State (UFS) were invited to participate as keynote speakers at the 10th International Conference on Calvin Research that will be hosted by the UFS from 22-27 August 2010. 

“Hosting this conference is seen as an exceptional achievement since the conference represents an international, high-profiled and specialised research community where invitation to present research results is based on proven academic outputs, innovation and original research,” said Prof. Dolf Britz, Director: Jonathan Edwards Center Africa at the UFS. Prof. Britz will, as keynote speaker, present a paper on Calvin's exposition of a Biblical text that played a significant role in the ‘Freedom Struggle’ in South Africa.

The programme for the Conference on Calvin Research also provides for two workshops specially designed for postgraduate students. This will be facilitated by international scholars and the focus will be on research methodology and the academic competencies to write a dissertation.

A student from the UFS, Rev. Ntabanyane Tseuao, was selected to present a short paper at the conference. He is one of three postgraduate students who are from the Theological University Apeldoorn in the Netherlands and the University of Tübingen in Germany, respectively.

Prof. Erik de Boer, an Extraordinary Professor and Research Fellow at the UFS and Mr Eric Kayayan, a Research Fellow at the UFS, will also be keynote speakers at the conference.

Two other academics from the UFS, Prof. Adriaan Neele, an Extraordinary Professor and Research Fellow and Dr Victor d’Assonville, a Research Fellow, will also present papers.

The participation of these academics in the conference is the result of an initiative that started eight years ago to cluster South African research on Classical and Reformation Theology at the University of the Free State. - Leonie Bolleurs

 

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