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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

Six Kovsies included in Mail & Guardian’s top 200
2017-07-28

 Description: Karla Mostert Tags: Mail & Guardian, 200 Young South Africans, Candice Thikeson, Karla Mostert, Lerato Machetela, Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Thapelo Mokoatsi

The Protea Karla Mostert, who is busy with her master’s degree
in Dietetics at the UFS, experienced a wonderful year
on the netball court. Photo: Johan Roux 

Being on the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list for 2017, gives her a platform to share with South Africa what she does. This is according to Candice Thikeson. “I want to inspire people to follow their passion and pursue their dreams, and Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans allows me to do so.”

The art historian, who is included in the Arts & Entertainment category, is one of six current and former students of the University of the Free State (UFS) featured in the prestigious list. The others are Zola Valashiya (Civil Society), Lerato Machetela (Education), Thapelo Mokoatsi (Film and Media), Karla Mostert (Sport), and Nokuthula Sithole (Politics & Government).

Every year, the Mail & Guardian honours exceptional young citizens under the age of 35 who has made an impact in their respective fields. A special event for this year’s chosen ones was hosted at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on 29 June 2017.

Making a statement for art historians
Thikeson, a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Bright Young Mind, and recipient of the Abe Bailey Travel Bursary, says she feels honoured. “To me, this means that the impact I am making in the arts is being felt. There are very few art historians in South Africa, and because of this, people don’t often know what this profession entails.”

Inspiring people from all walks of life
She says the reaction from friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances have been overwhelming. “The most heart-warming thing for me has been having men tell me that I inspire them. As women, we are often told that we are inspirations for little girls, but women can and do inspire, challenge, and motivate men too.”
She was appointed as a junior lecturer in the Department of Art History at the UFS in January. This, and being a Mandela Rhodes Scholar, is some of her career highlights. She is also enrolled for a research master’s degree in Art History and Image Studies.

UFS students on the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list:
• Zola Valashiya (Civil Society) – Co-founder and director, Debate Afrika
• Lerato Machetela (Education) – Psychologist
• Thapelo Mokoatsi (Film and Media) – Historian and academic
• Karla Mostert (Sport) – Netball player
• Nokuthula Sithole (Politics & Government) – Activist
• Candice Thikeson (Arts & Entertainment) – Art historian

View the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans here. 

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