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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

Nominations awaited for UFS Alumni awards
2006-10-12

Nominations are awaited for the University of the Free State’s (UFS) annual Kovsie alumni awards, namely the Kovsie Alumnus of the Year, the Cum-Laude Award and the Alumni Award for Exceptional Service to the UFS.

The Kovsie Alumnus of the Year Award honours the outstanding achievements of a Kovsie alumnus on national or international level.  Last year Mr Naka Drotské was appointed as Kovsie of the Year for the way in which he led the Cheetah Rugby Team.

The Cum Laude Award is occasionally bestowed on an alumnus for outstanding service or achievement on regional, national or international level in his/her field of work.  Mr Harold Verster (President of the Free State Rugby Union) received the Cum Laude Award last year.

The Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to the UFS is occasionally made to any person (not necessarily an alumnus) who delivered exceptional service to the university.  The award was made last year to Prof Johan Henning, Dean: Faculty of Law at the UFS.

 A written nomination for the awards can be submitted by any alumnus. The nomination must be seconded by at least five other alumni and be accompanied by a comprehensive motivation and a brief curriculum vitae of the candidate. The candidate’s complete address and telephone number must also be provided.

Nominations can be submitted by post to Ms Annanda Fick or Mr Lucas Radebe, Alumni Awards, PO Box 2319, Bloemfontein, 9300 or faxed to (051) 401 3758. The closing date for submission of nominations is 3 November 2006.  Enquiries can be directed to Ms Fick at (051) 401 3382 or Mr Radebe at (051) 401 3751.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
10 October 2006

 

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