Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
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

UFS cardiac team does pioneering work
2017-10-29

Description: ' 000 Cardiac Pioneers Tags: Cardiac Pioneers 

“With the use of endomyocardial biopsies, the team hopes to treat viruses unique
to Southern Africa, as well as other underlying causes of dilated cardiomyopathy.”

Photo: iStock

Members of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Cardiac team had various achievements at national and international level this year. The Robert WM Frater Cardiovascular Research Centre in the Faculty of Health Sciences has commenced with a pioneering research project regarding idiopathic dilating cardiomyopathy.

With an Afrocentric research focus, Prof Francis Smit, Head of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the UFS and Head of the Frater Centre, describes dilating cardiomyopathy as a heart muscle disease that is quite common, particularly among people of African descent. The disease weakens the heart muscle, which in turn leads to heart failure.

“To date there is no curable treatment for this condition, and 50% of patients who have shown heart failure, died within a period of five years. The causes of this condition have been unknown in the majority of patients. But over the past few years major strides have been made, where virus infections of the heart muscle, or myocarditis, have been identified as a possible underlying cause. Various genetic diseases are also linked to it,” says Prof Smit.

According to Prof Mokoali Makotoko, Head of the Department of Cardiology, more than 1 500 new cases of heart failure are identified at the Universitas Academic Hospital annually, of which approximately 30% are attributed to cardiomyopathy. “With the use of endomyocardial biopsies, the team hopes to treat viruses unique to Southern Africa, as well as other underlying causes of dilated cardiomyopathy.”

The study is a project that flows from Prof Makotoko’s PhD. The project is being run with Prof Heinz-Peter Schultheiss of the Charité University and the Institute for Cardiac Diagnostics and Therapy in Berlin, Germany.

 "More than 1 500 new cases of heart failure are identified at the Universitas Academic Hospital annually, of which approximately 30% are attributed to cardiomyopathy."

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