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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.

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Graduates take a bow
2014-04-14

Pride, joy, gratitude and cheer echoed across our Bloemfontein Campus this week as we celebrated the 2014 Autumn Graduation Ceremony.

These prestigious ceremonies did not belong to the graduates exclusively, though. Their parents, family, friends and academics also received several bows of gratitude for their support.

The guest speakers provided a wealth of wisdom and encouragement to the graduates. Dr Ruda Landman, well-known media personality, advised that “success doesn’t just happen, it is achieved.” Comedian Loyiso Gola told graduates to go out and conquer the world – a message that Lucas Sithole cemented. Sithole, ranking at Nr 2 in wheelchair tennis world wide, said that the only one who could stand in your way is yourself. “Today, you have power in your hands. Try to change the world with that power.” Siyabulela Xuza, South African rocket scientist and Harvard graduate, was a true embodiment of his words, “We are equally capable of achieving global innovation.”

After the conferral of the degrees and certificates, Prof Jonathan Jansen reminded the graduates that their “degree will mean nothing” if they cannot distinguish between what is right and what is wrong as they go into the world. When faced with a difficult situation, “base your decision on what is right and what is wrong, not on the colour of someone’s skin, the way they pray, or the way they choose to love,” he urged.

Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS, concluded the proceedings by expressing the spirit of this celebration, “I take a bow to you all.”

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