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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

Meet our Council: A teacher with a passion for changing lives
2016-12-19

Description: Henry Madlala, Council member Tags: Henry Madlala, Council member 

Henry Dumisani Madlala

William Arthur Ward once said: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

However, a teacher can only be great and inspire when teaching is a passion and a calling.

This is exactly the case with Henry Dumisani Madlala, Councillor of the University of the Free State. Mr Madlala is the principal of New Horizon College, a private school in Harrismith.

High educational standards and quality teaching
“New Horizon College is an independent, non-racial educational institution striving to maintain high educational standards and making quality education accessible to all. We have attained a 100% matric pass rate each year in the past six years since I became headmaster."

"My recipe is simple: teachers must teach and learners must learn.”

Mr Madlala was born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal and matriculated from Amazulu High School. Afterwards, he completed a BSc degree in Mathematics and Physics at the University of the North’s Qwaqwa Campus.

Delegate, govern, and trust
He says: “There are three key management principles which I follow as principal: delegate, govern, and trust. I give responsibilities to people, I make sure that they know what is expected of them, and in the end I trust them to carry out their responsibilities.”

His career as teacher and principal has been full of highlights on which he looks back with satisfaction.

Proud to plough back into the university

Madlala has been serving on the UFS Council since 2010 and has been part of Kovsie Alumni’s executive management since 2011. He is proud to plough back into the university in this manner.

“To me, being a Kovsie alumnus means pride, respect, discipline, and loyalty. Once a Kovsie, always a Kovsie!”

For this reason, Madlala believes that the UFS will play a major role in the country and in higher education for a long time to come.

“The UFS has been in existence for more than a hundred years and will no doubt survive for another hundred years or longer. We are indeed one of the leading universities in the country when it comes to transformation and academic excellence. The survival of the UFS is not a dream, but a reality.”

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