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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

Strydom helps establish SA in international clarinet arena
2016-06-07

Description: Danré Strydom Tags: Danré Strydom

Danré Strydom, clarinet lecturer in
the Odeion School of Music at the
University of the Free State, was
named national chairperson to
represent South Africa in the
International Clarinet Association.
Photo: Odeion School of Music.

Her appointment holds international benefits not only for the University of the Free State (UFS), but also for the rest of South Africa’s clarinet community.

This is the view of Danré Strydom, clarinet lecturer in the Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the UFS, on her appointment as South African chairperson of the International Clarinet Association in Columbus (Ohio), America.

It is no coincidence, therefore, that the OSM, with Strydom at the helm as Buffet artist, will present an international clarinet festival on the Bloemfontein Campus from 4 to 8 October 2016. During the International Clarinet Extravaganza, a first for South Africa, world-renowned clarinet players like Eddy Vanoosthuyse of Belgium, Marco Mazinni of Peru, and Sun Zhen of China, will perform.

More contact with overseas representatives
“South Africa’s clarinet community is fairly distanced from the rest of the world,” says Strydom. “In places like Europe and the USA, it is easy to attend a variety of masterclasses, research opportunities, and clarinet festivals.” Her appointment means that she will have more contact with representatives from other countries. “It is also important for composers from South Africa to have their work performed beyond our borders.”

The purpose of the International Clarinet Association is to support projects that benefit clarinet players. She also writes for the association’s journal.

Strydom, who is completing her PhD this year, was honoured some seven months ago with the elite international accomplishment of Buffet artist. She is the first South African to represent Buffet-Crampon.

Clarinet festival offers additional opportunities
Strydom says the clarinet festival hosted by the UFS is “a wonderful opportunity to put the UFS, OSM, and South Africa on the map for clarinet performance, education, and research.”

The purpose of the festival is to expose South African clarinettists and educators to international trends, and to learn from the best in the world. “The festival will prove that the current education, compositional techniques, standard of players, and the quality at academic institutions can compete with the rest of the world. I also believe it will provide opportunities for students to connect with international players and, in that way, open doors for possible postgraduate studies or concert opportunities overseas.”

Watch videos of Strydom:
Video 1
Video 2

Click here to watch other videos of the OSM.


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