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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

Symbolism and naming in spotlight at NSSA conference
2016-10-06

Description: NSSA LN Read More Tags: NSSA LN Read More

From the left, front: Prof Nhlanhla Mathonsi,
President of the NSSA, and Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa,
Registrar at DUT.
Left, back (from the UFS): Prof Peter Raper,
Research Fellow at the ULFE and executive
member of the scientific council and paper
selection committee, Prof Theodorus du Plessis,
Director of the Unit for Language Facilitation
and Empowerment, and JC van der Merwe,
acting Director of the Institute for
Reconciliation and Social Justice.
Photo: Supplied

The 19th Names Society of Southern Africa (NSSA) International Conference saw delegates from around the world make their way to the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus to study names as well as naming systems.

The conference took place from 20 to 22 September and was organised by the Unit for Language Facilitation and Empowerment (ULFE) at the UFS, alongside the NSSA. Delegates from South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Germany, and Taiwan attended.

The NSSA is a society dedicated to the study of names, naming, and naming systems. Members of the society come from a variety of disciplines, but all share an interest in names and their meaning.

Symbolism and naming in public sphere

The topic of this year’s conference was Symbolism and Instrumentality in Naming with categories of research which included anthroponyms, geographical names, names in history, literary onomastics, brand names, and politics of naming in a public sphere.

Issue of gender in naming systems

Keynote speakers included Prof Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Registrar at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), and Prof Peter Raper, Professor Extraordinaire at the UFS, Research Fellow at the ULFE, and executive member of the scientific council and paper selection committee.

In her address entitled, Naming is to gender as gender is to naming: Emerging Onomastics Scholarship, Prof Meyiwa noted that analysing names using gender enquiry is a potentially useful tool for identifying various communities’ values, belief systems, and perceptions as it relates to sexes.

“The talk called for the development of what I refer to as ‘feminist onomastics theory and research practice,’ which should primarily seek to bring about change and/or reimagine onomastics research."

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