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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

Two from UFS heading for Rio
2016-07-18

Description: Rynhardt_Rio Tags: Rynhardt_Rio

The 800 m athlete from the University of the
Free State, Rynhardt van Rensburg, will soon
take part in his first Olympic Games in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Photo: Varsity Sports / Wessel Oosthuizen

It is the cherry on top for any sportsman or sportswoman. This is what DB Prinsloo, Director of KovsieSport, has to say about two athletes from the University of the Free State (UFS) being included in the South African team for the Olympic Games.

He says the officials and coaches at KovsieSport are extremely proud of Rynhardt van Rensburg (800 m) and Wayde van Niekerk (400 m). Although they qualified earlier, their names were read out on 14 July 2016 as part of the team of 137 athletes that will participate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5 to 21 August.

In the footsteps of other UFS stars

They follow in the footsteps of former Kovsies like Leslé-Ann George (women’s hockey), Kate Roberts (triathlon), Johan Cronjé (1 500 m), and Frantz Kruger (discus), who represented South Africa at previous Olympics. Apart from these two, four former Kovsies were also included in the team for Rio. They are the Sevens Springbok Philip Snyman, Sevens coach Neil Powell, Chris Dednam as badminton coach and Roberts as team manager of the triathletes. Dednam also competed as a player at the Olympics. Ans Botha, the UFS sprint coach, will also accompany Van Niekerk.

“It is a highlight for any sportsman or sportswoman to be part of the Olympic Games. It is, for example, the same as it is for others to participate in a World Cup,” says Prinsloo.

Description: Wayde2_Rio Tags: Wayde2_Rio

Wayde van Niekerk

Van Niekerk shows mettle on birthday

Prinsloo is very happy for Van Rensburg, since the 24-year-old athlete has been injured for a long time and had to regain his form. On 24 June 2016, he won a bronze medal at the African Championships in Durban in a time of 1:46.15.

Prinsloo feels that Van Niekerk and Caster Semenya (800 m) are great contenders for medals in Rio. Van Niekerk, who celebrated his 24th birthday on 15 July 2016, continued his good preparation for the Olympics by trouncing his rivals on his birthday at a Diamond League event in Monaco in a time of in 44.12.

 

“It is a highlight for any sportsman or
sportswoman to be part of the Olympic Games.”










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