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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

Recognition from the United Nations and MACE
2013-11-22

 
The University of the Free State received Excellence and Merit awards for its communication and marketing projects.
From the left is Leatitia Pienaar, editor of Bult magazine, Lacea Loader, Director Strategic Communication, Leonie Bolleurs, editor of Dumela and Ilze Bakkes, UFS Marketer: Publications and Broadcast.
Photo: Sonia Small

The University of the Free State (UFS) was this week recognised by the United Nations (UN), as well as the national association for Marketing, Advancement and Communication in Education (MACE), for its communication and marketing publications and campaigns.

The UFS was named by representatives of the UN to receive a special United Nations Award for a leadership communication campaign called ‘Talk to me’. The award, which forms part of the Golden Awards of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), is made annually to the campaign that best supports human development in line with the UN objectives.

The UFS also received seven awards from MACE during the Higher and Further Education Excellence Awards. The ‘Talk to me’ campaign was awarded an Excellence Award in the category integrated campaigns and projects; a television campaign on DSTV received an Excellence Award in the broadcasting category. The campaign also received an award as the overall winner in this category. The magazine Bult received a special Excellence Award in the category external publications (as the publication with the highest marks in the history of this award ceremony); the staff newsletter Dumela and a set of student recruitment publications each received a Merit Award in the categories internal newsletters and special publications respectively; and the Open Day campaign received a Merit Award in the category integrated campaigns and projects.

The Excellence Awards form part of the 2013 national MACE congress, which was hosted by the UFS on the Bloemfontein Campus from 18-20 November 2013 and attended by 139 delegates from 25 higher and further education institutions.

“I am extremely proud of the achievements of what is emerging as a truly world-class communications department at the UFS recognised increasingly for achievements nationally and abroad,” says Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.

‘Talk to me’, which was implemented in 2010, is a leadership communication campaign that creates a way for staff and students to engage with Prof Jansen. With the campaign, he regularly spends time physically sitting on the university’s three campuses in a predetermined area giving staff and students the opportunity to talk and interact with him. The success of the campaign stems from the fact that it gives him the opportunity to pick up on issues or concerns of the campus community.

“The ‘Talk to me’ campaign is one of the key campaigns of the university’s Human Project, as it projects the scholarship of service and transformation leadership. It is an exceptional honour to be recognised by the UN and to receive this award,” says Lacea Loader, Director: Strategic Communication at the UFS.

“The MACE Higher and Further Education Excellence Awards provide an excellent platform to showcase the many projects and campaigns of the sector, and to receive this kind of recognition from our peers is a tremendous honour for the UFS,” says Loader.


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