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10 March 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Victor Sguassero (kykNET)
Chris Vorster
Chris was on stage in 'Die Hart Verklap' at the Toyota US Woordfees in Stellenbosch recently.

“Difficult and very strange,” is how Chris Vorster, veteran actor and Drama lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) describes his role as Bas Koorts in the supernatural thriller Die Spreeus

For Chris, the biggest challenge during the filming of Die Spreeus was to work in front of a green screen. “You never see the monsters and things attacking you, it is only added later on during the editing process,” he said. Therefore, he and his co-actors were expected to use their own imagination “to be frightened, and to duck and dive from something that does not exist.” 

This Afrikaans thriller series has recently been nominated in five categories of the South African Film and Television Awards, including Best Television Drama, Best Cinematography, and Original Sound and Sound Editing. 

Chris was also nominated for a Fiësta award in 2019 for his one-man performance in the theatre production, Die Hart verklap. “It is fantastic to still be recognised for my work,” he said, “but I also have to give recognition to Dion van Niekerk, because without a good director, any actor will be lost.” Van Niekerk also lectures Drama at the UFS.

Being a lecturer broadens his knowledge 

Chris joined the UFS Department of Drama and Theatre Arts in 2015 as lecturer in the programme for Film en Visual Media. “Everything I learn in the industry I apply as lecturer, and research and teaching feed more knowledge on acting, directing, and especially writing,” he said. After five years, being involved with the UFS Department of Drama is still exciting to him. “This is where both lecturers and students get encouraged to do more than just breathing.” 

With his busy schedule of teaching and acting, it remains important to him that South Africans are still able to tell stories – “in any language”. He considers it a privilege for anyone to work in their mother tongue. This is also why the symbiosis between his work as actor and lecturer is so appealing.

News Archive

New schools, restructuring part of streamlined Faculty of Health Sciences
2017-10-12

 Description: Health Sciences staff 2 Tags: Faculty of Health Sciences, five-school structure, Prof Gert van Zyl, Pathology, Biomedical Sciences  

From the left, front are: Dr Jocelyn Naicker,
Prof Gert van Zyl, Prof Magda Mulder;
back from left: Prof Chris Viljoen,
Marlene Viljoen, Deputy Director: Faculty of Health Sciences;
Prof Nathaniel Mofolo; and Prof Santie van Vuuren.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin


Numerous developments, such as the creation of two new schools and one newly restructured School of Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), will catapult this renowned faculty to even greater heights.

Five-school structure to increase access
 
A five-school structure was proposed at the annual Faculty Management retreat in July 2016. The previous three-school model included the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions.

The current School of Medicine has been restructured and will henceforth be known as the School of Clinical Medicine. The Schools of Pathology and Biomedical Sciences have been added to the faculty. “So, three new schools were in fact created within the faculty,” said Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the faculty.   

“There was also a request from the National Health Laboratory Services to group academics that is rendering services in pathology into a new School of Pathology.” This is what motivated the faculty management to create two new schools.

Esteemed academics appointed 

With the creation of the new schools, there were also new appointments within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Dr Jocelyn Naicker has been appointed as the new part-time Head of the School of Pathology, Prof Chris Viljoen was appointed as the part-time Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences, and Prof Nathaniel Mofolo as the new Head of the School of Clinical Medicine. Prof Santie van Vuuren remains Head of the School of Allied Health Professions, and Prof Magda Mulder as the head of the School of Nursing. 

Research outputs to remain as usual
The addition of the new schools will not impact research output. “In the past, research was done across departmental boundaries between all the departments in the faculty,” Prof Van Zyl said. The advantages of adding two additional schools are that the workload will be distributed among the five schools. The heads of schools will work within their respective disciplines and related areas, and will eliminate the duplication of administrative functions.

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