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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 Chemistry wins dti award
2010-11-02

At the awards ceremony are, from the left: Director-General of Trade and Industry Mr Tshediso Matona, Prof. Andreas Roodt and the Deputy-Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Bongi Maria Ntuli.
Photo: S Osman

The research group of Prof. Andreas Roodt, Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein, won the first prize in the category Development of Small Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SMME) at the annual Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) award ceremony.

Prof. Roodt received the prize for the high-technology project Development of novel nuclear pharmaceuticals in the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP).

The Deputy-Minister of Trade and Industry Bongi Maria Ntuli, and Director-General Tshediso Matona presented the prize at the gala dinner held at Gallagher Estate, Gauteng in October 2010.

The dti’s Annual Technology Awards recognise excellence in research and aim to raise awareness on the benefits of using technology to improve the competitiveness of enterprises, within the local and global arena. Individuals and organisations are recognised for their efforts in advancing and promoting technology interests and emerging enterprises.

The technology awards cover the achievements of three of the dti technology programmes collectively, namely THRIP, managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF); the Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) managed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (seda) Technology Programme (stp).

Prof. Roodt, also vice-president of the European Crystallographic Association, who has just returned from a series of lectures abroad after being elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK, has received funding in excess of R3 million over the past two years to set up a specialised laboratory for synthesising active compounds. Key partners in this project are Dr Gerdus Kemp from PETLabs Pharmaceuticals in Pretoria; Prof. Connie Medlen (pharmacologist), recently appointed affiliate professor at UFS Chemistry; as well as Prof. Deon Visser from the Inorganic Chemistry research group at the UFS.

The research aims to produce new nuclear medicinal agents for the early diagnosis of cancer, heart and brain defects, and even HIV/ Aids.

Two doctoral students, Alice Brink and Marietjie Schutte, are currently actively involved in this project. They are the recipients of prestige scholarships introduced by the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, under the UFS Research Initiative (the Advanced Biomolecular Systems Cluster) to complete their Ph.D. studies.

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

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