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27 March 2018 Photo Varsity Sports
Medals galore at second Varsity meeting Peter Makgato
Peter Makgato won the long jump title at the second Varsity athletics meeting in Pretoria with a winning jump of 7.56m.

The University of the Free State (UFS) had a successful second Varsity athletics meeting on Friday 23 March 2018 at the Tuks Athletics Stadium in Pretoria, dominating the long jump and middle distances. 

The 25 athletes achieved six gold and eight bronze medals. Although it’s just one more than what they earned at the first Varsity meeting at the beginning of the month, two more received gold. On 2 March 2018 the Free State students totalled four gold, six silver and three bronze medals. 

Although Yolandi Stander bagged a silver in the discus, it didn’t contribute to the Kovsies’ total. Stander competed for Tuks last year and the competition rules do not permit her to participate for another university in the following year.
 
Victories in middle distances and long jump
As was the case in the first meeting, the athletes running in the red colours of the Kovsies outsprinted the rest in the middle distances with three first places. Both Ruan Jonck (1:50.56) and Ts’epang Sello (2:10.42) defended their titles in the 800m for men and women respectively.

In the 1500m for women, Tyler Beling clocked a winning time of 04:33.48 with Lara Orrock following in third place (04:46.37). Both are just 18 years old. 

Both long-jump titles were decisive victories. Peter Makgato’s winning jump (7.56m) was 0.17m more than his closest competitor, and Maryke Brits (5.81m) won by 0.14m.

Three bronze medals were added in the field events; Nadia Meiring (47.10m) in the hammer throw) and Sefako Mokhosoa (15.29m, men) and Molebohang Pherane (11.67m, women) both in the triple jump. 

On the track Ané Erasmus (400m hurdles, 1:04.04), Hendrik Maartens (200m, 21.01) and Sokwakana Mogwasi (100m, 11.99) all ended in the third spot. 

The men’s varsity mixed medley relay won their race once again, and the men’s 4x100m relay finished third. 
The Kovsies ended fourth overall after the two meetings.

News Archive

#Women’sMonth: Who am I? Questions of identity among Rwandan rape survivors
2017-08-03

 Description: Michelle Nöthling, Questions of identity among Rwandan rape survivors Tags: Michelle Nöthling, Questions of identity among Rwandan rape survivors 

Michelle Nöthling, master’s degree student
in the Centre for Trauma, Forgiveness, and
Reconciliation Studies at the UFS.
Photo: Eugene Seegers

From 7 April to 15 July 1994, a mass genocide swept through Rwanda after years of Belgian colonial rule that divided the country along ethnic lines. Rape was also used as part of a political strategy to torture and humiliate mainly Tutsi women, and as a means of spreading HIV.

Individual focus
Why is it important to listen to what these rape survivors have to say? Michelle Nöthling, a master’s student in the UFS Centre for Trauma, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation Studies, responds, “We speak of groups – refugees, foreigners, and the like – yet we tend to forget the individuals and the lasting impact trauma has had on each person.”

Narrative exploration
Michelle maintains that we are the product of the narratives around us; things like – how to be a woman, how to dress, speak, or treat others. Her research delves into how these rape survivors see themselves, how they narrate their lives. She also investigates power relations based on gender; for example, how language can be used as a divisive tool.

Rwandan backdrop
In Rwanda, gender roles are deeply entrenched. Traditionally, a ‘girl’ remains such while she is a virgin. Her transition into womanhood is usually marked by marriage and followed by motherhood. But rape disrupts this structure, leading to an identity crisis as these girls are catapulted into motherhood with an unplanned child resulting from a traumatic event.

“We are the product of
the narratives around us.”

Reaching their mid-teens, the children, too, started asking questions about identity or paternity. For those mothers who were finally able to open up to their children, the experience has been mostly liberating – often leading to a closer relationship between parent and child. Michelle intends to interrogate how such significant moments shape the way these women perceive themselves. Research tends to portray these survivors solely as mothers of rape-born children. Michelle, however, seeks to examine their identities more deeply.

“These survivors still bear the heavy burden of being marginalised, stigmatised, and severely humiliated. Despite this, they have developed their own communities of belonging; people with whom they connect, to whom they relate, and to whom they are not ashamed to tell their experiences,” she said.

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