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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

Doctors make history with unique heart operation
2012-04-04

 

Cardiologists at the university delivered the first Melody pulmonary valve in Africa.
Photo: Evert Kleynhans
30 March 2012

Academics of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State made history in Africa once again this week with the implant of a special pulmonary heart valve.

“Today we are extremely proud Free State citizens,” Prof. Stephen Brown and Dr. Danie Buys from the UFS Department of Paediatrics and Child Health said after they placed the Medtronic Melody pulmonary valve in two young patients at the Universitas hospital in Bloemfontein.

This is the first time in Africa that the Melody valve is placed.

To date there are currently only 3 000 of these valves place in the world.

“It feels incredible to be part of a team of experts from the faculty.”

The Medtronic Melody valve is delivered percutaneously through a catheter from the groin. This operation is for children and young adults who are born with a malformation of their pulmonary valve.

These children often require open-heart surgery at a very young age and later require additional open-heart surgeries to restore blood flow between the heart and the lungs.

Prof. Brown said that of all congenital diseases, heart disease is most common. A lot of children born with heart disease are diagnosed very late and many die without ever receiving specialised care.

In 2011, Prof. Brown and two other cardiologists from the UFS, Prof. Hennie Theron en Dr JP Theron also reached a medical milestone when they were the first cardiologists in South Africa to do a second generation Medtronic CoreValve implant on an elderly patient.
 

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