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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 SADC Groundwater Management Institute will strengthen UFS footprint in Africa
2015-07-30

Prof Danie Vermeulen
Photo: Anja Aucamp

The new SADC Groundwater Management Institute (SADC GMI) will be fully operational in 2016, says Prof Danie Vermeulen, Head of the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS) at the University of the Free State.

The SADC GMI will have its offices in the IGS building on the Bloemfontein Campus. The UFS will be responsible for the financial side of the operation. The IGS, SADC member states, and the World Bank are co-operating on this project, which will build sustainable groundwater management across regional borders.  Universities in the region tendered for the project, but the proposal by the IGS towered above the rest, Prof Vermeulen says.

The SADC GMI will strengthen the capacity of institutions to establish sustainable groundwater management. It will promote the management and development of groundwater infrastructures, and advance knowledge about national and trans-boundary groundwater. With the establishment of the new institute, research will be conducted, knowledge shared, and capacity built.

Prof Vermeulen says research has shown that groundwater is a primary source of water for more than 70% of the 250 million people in the drought-prone SADC region. The rapid expansion of commercial farming and industry is putting great pressure on water resources; 67% of all water is used in agriculture.

The new institute is an important instrument for the UFS to strengthen its footprint in Africa.  “The SADC GMI is about distributing knowledge across the SADC region. It is important for the UFS to extend into Africa. The official collaboration between the UFS, the World Bank, and the SADC countries enables us to reach the goal,” Prof Vermeulen says.

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