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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

An incident-free recess for the UFS
2010-07-19

The improved security measures at the University of the Free State (UFS) have resulted in an incident-free recess on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the annual Volksblad Arts Festival.

The UFS provided accommodation for international spectators visiting the country for the World Cup and recently also hosted the hugely popular Volksblad Arts Festival without any security glitches.

These successes could be attributed to the hard work of staff members from various divisions at the UFS to ensure that the security was improved.

“The main question we had to deal with was: should our Main Campus be fenced off? This matter had been under discussion for quite some time. In order to ensure the feasibility thereof, a second impact study was done by a consulting engineer,” said Prof. Niel Viljoen, Vice-Rector: Operations at the UFS.

“This study has shown that, given the nature of activities on the campus and the access configuration, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to effectively control access to the campus, especially as far as visitors were concerned. Any type of access control measure would result in delays at the gates, which could have a major impact on the traffic flow, delays, costs and emissions.”

“It is important that our staff and students feel safe on the Main Campus, whether they are walking on campus or working in their offices. In that way we can ensure an environment that is conducive to staff and students to work and study,” he said.

Various measures are being implemented to make the campuses safer. These include, among others:

  • The installation of alarms in buildings on the Main Campus. The project for the South Campus has been completed and the installation of a new alarm system on the Qwaqwa Campus will start soon.

     
  • Staff and students will be required to wear identification cards once the new identification system has been put in place. These cards will allow access to all buildings.

     
  • Fences around the Main Campus are being repaired and the areas around these fences are being cleaned. This project should be completed by August 2010.

     
  • Lights will be installed in badly lit areas on the Main Campus. The first phase of this project includes the area between the Mooimeisiesfontein, Welwitschia and Vergeet-my-nie residences. This project will also be completed by August 2010.

     
  • The walkways on the Main Campus will be patrolled more frequently and effectively.

     
  • Contracted security workers will be utilised more effectively.

     
  • The monitoring of security cameras on the Main Campus on a 24/7 basis. “For this purpose the security room of our Protection Services is in the process of being upgraded,” said Prof. Viljoen.

The possibility of placing security cameras and panic buttons in parking areas and walkways is investigated.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
16 July 2010

 

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