Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
20 September 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Charl Devenish
Kovsies Multilingual Mokete
The Multilingual Mokete embodies the ideals of the university to become inclusive, while promoting a multicultural environment.

The first Kovsies Multilingual Mokete was a celebration of language and culture; it is a commitment by the University of the Free State (UFS) to nurture an attitude of inclusiveness and acceptance on all three of its campuses. Hosted on the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 18 September 2019, the mokete was a hype of activity with drama, poetry, music, dance, and scrumptious cultural cuisine.

“This initiative was coordinated to promote and celebrate all our regional languages, but also important – our regional cultures.” This was the words of Prof Francis Petersen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS, on opening the first Kovsies Multilingual Mokete.

The Mokete stage came alive with the impeccable voices of our students and staff as they personified multilingualism through the spoken word in the form of poems, the drama production, Dogg’s Hamlet in the Scaena, praise songs, and dance. A mural featuring individual artworks was also on display during the mokete, as well as a screening of the movie, The Visitor.

The Mokete was concluded by Simple Stories, a band of former Kovsie students, with Early B as the main act.  The People’s Choice Award winner of the day was Soetbravado, winners of the UFS SingOff competition.

“I think the inaugural Multilanguage festival is full of potential. Tolerance and understanding of different cultures are what I see here. I think it’s amazing and I would recommend the UFS to continue with it,” says Jon-Dylon Petersen, former SRC member and final-year Quantity Surveying and Construction Management student. 

Kovsies First Multilingual Mokete
The traditional outfits made for a colourful Mokete. Photo:Charl Devenish

Mokete part of UFS project to foster sense of belonging


The mokete is furthermore presented in support of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP) work streams on Teaching and Learning, Student and Staff Experience, and the Multi-Campus Model. “As a university, we are proud of the many languages and cultures which form part of this university. It creates a level of diversity and it is through diversity that we can build strength within the university,” says Prof Petersen. 

This initiative of multilingualism is part of the university’s language policy, which promotes a sense of belonging and acceptance among people. “We want to create opportunities and platforms and campuses where everyone should feel welcome, and to create the ability for each culture and language group to also learn from one another.”

The ultimate goal is to use the multilingual initiatives to prepare our students for the multilingual and multicultural world, but also to stay connected to our own heritage and background. 

Dogg's Hamlet
The play Dogg's Hamlet was showcased in the Scaena Theatre during the Mokete. Photo: Charl Devenish

Mokete should become an annual event 


The reaction to the mokete was overwhelmingly positive and it was well received in the Kovsie community. “It’s a beautiful experience to see how academics can come to a university and showcase not only different languages, but different cultures; it’s something which should continue in the spirit of ubuntu and diversity, and can maybe become a national festival,” says Almondreaux Williams, third-year LLB student.

Not only was the mokete a celebration of multilingualism at the UFS; it was also a platform to express different cultures in the form of traditional attire.

''It’s getting people together. All of us, all the cultural groups are here together. The performances were awesome,” says Sibongile Witbooi, a third-year Geology student and Residence Committee member for Culture at Akasia residence. 

Multilingual Mokete
Authentic South African cuisine was on the menu for the day. Moketers could enjoy array of flavours from bobotie and rice to
chesanyama and pap. Photo: Charl Devenish


News Archive

Inaugural lecture focuses on Plant Pathology
2005-08-16

Prof Neal Mc Laren, from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Department of Plant Pathology, will deliver his inaugural lecture on Wednesday 17 August 2005 at 19:00 in the CR Swart Auditorium on campus.

The topic of the lecture is Beyond the pathogen:  revisited”.

Prof Mc Laren obtained his B Sc, B Sc (Hons) and M Sc (Agric) at the University of Natal and    Ph D (Plant Pathology) from the University of Pretoria.  In 1977 he was appointed as a research technician at the former Department of Agricultural Technical Services, was promoted to professional officer in 1983 and in 1995 to specialist scientist at the Agricultural Research Council.  In 2003 he was appointed as Associate Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Plant Sciences at the UFS and in 2005 as a full-time Professor of Plant Pathology. 

Prof Mc Laren has published 32 papers in accredited scientific journals or refereed proceedings which include two feature articles.  He also has three book chapters to his credit.  He has presented 35 local and 18 international conference papers and has been an invited/keynote speaker on a number of occasions.  He has published 26 popular articles, co-supervised several post-graduate students and been an examiner of a number of dissertations/theses.   He has acted as referee for numerous journal articles and was associate editor for African Plant Protection. In 1998 he received the ARC-President’s Award and in 1999, an award from the Sorghum Producers Organisation of the USA for outstanding research.

Prof Mc Laren’s principle area of interest has been diseases of sorghum with emphasis on ergot, damping-off and seedling blights, root rots and grain molds.  In addition, root rots of maize and more recently, soybean rust have received attention.  He has a particular interest in quantitative epidemiology.  

For any enquiries, please contact Ms Joan Nel at (051) 401-9301.

Media release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za

16 August 2005
 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept