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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

Outstanding UFS alumni celebrated at annual award ceremony
2016-11-08

Description: Alumni awards 2016 Tags: Alumni awards 2016

Justice Mahube Molemela, Justice Ian van der Merwe
and Tanya Calitz.

The annual Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony was presented by the Office of Institutional Advancement on 5 November 2016, at the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus. The prestigious awards recognise outstanding achievements of UFS alumni provincially, nationally and internationally. These are alumni who have not only placed the university on the world stage but have inspired the next generation of Kovsies and their communities at large.

“I am proud of this year’s award recipients and it is an honour to recognise them for the contributions they make,” said Justice Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council, at the ceremony. “With these awards, the university wants to strengthen its bond and replenish its connection with alumni, showcase their achievements, and inspire other alumni and students to achieve in their respective fields,” Justice van der Merwe said.

For the first time, the Young Alumnus of the Year Award was presented, to recognise and celebrate the achievements of alumni who have graduated within the past decade. The recipient of the award, Tanya Calitz, Research Lawyer at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, said in her acceptance speech: “At Kovsies you arrive as a student and leave as a critical thinker and leader.”

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Justice Mahube Molemela, Chancellor of the Central University of Technology and Judge President of the Free State High Court. “I accept this award with humility and appreciation from this esteemed institution. It is moments like these that we as alumni should reflect on what we can do to contribute to the excellence of the UFS,” said Justice Molemela.

More awards were presented to alumni in the following categories:
•    Rolene Strauss, former Miss World and student at the UFS.
•    Wayde van Niekerk, current world record holder, world champion and Olympic champion in the 400 metres, and student at the UFS.

Cum Laude Award:
•    Neil Powell, Coach of Blitzbokke that won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 2016.
•    Professor Eunice Seekoe, Acting Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, and leader in Health Science professional training.
•    Gary Stroebel, CEO of Central Media Group and visionary media pioneer.

Executive Management Award:
•    Anna Botha (Tannie Ans), coach and mentor of Wayde van Niekerk.
•    Anton Esterhuyse, musical director, composer, arranger, producer, and performer.

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