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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

Afrikaans place names were not only given by Afrikaner people, says professor.
2012-09-25

Prof. Peter Raper delivering his lecture on South African place names.
25 September 2012

 Prof. Peter Raper, honorary professor at the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice, delivered a public lecture in Clarens earlier this month. The theme of the lecture was “From Stone Age to GPS: The fourth edition of the South African Place Names Dictionary”.

Prof. Raper shared the historical development of the project as well as the challenges and other interesting observations associated with the topic. He elaborated on the dramatic change in the focus of his research on place names in South Africa.

It was previously assumed that all of the Afrikaans place names were given by the Afrikaner people and that changing these place names was consistent with the mandate of the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC) to transform place names. Prof. Raper said more in-depth research revealed that a significant number of place names are actually translations of original San names – into Afrikaans, Khoi and the Bantu languages. He told the audience that given the constitutional stipulation that no cultural group’s heritage may be removed, this discovery calls into the question the modus operandi of the SAGNC.

Prof. Raper’s lecture was part of the conference programme of the Third International MIDP IV Symposium that took place on the Qwaqwa campus. The MIDP (Multilingual Information Development Programme) is a project sponsored by the Province of Antwerp. The theme for this year’s symposium was “Multilingualism for Empowerment” and was presented in collaboration with the University of Antwerp.

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