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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

First-years welcomed to the Kovsie family
2017-01-30

Description: Prof Francis Petersen  Tags: Prof Francis Petersen

Newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the
University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen during
the first-year welcoming.
Photo: Charl Devenish

“How do you like my new blazer? Do you think these stripes suit me?” These were the words of the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the University of the Free State, Prof Francis Petersen, as he took to the stage in his #ProudlyKovsies blazer to welcome the 2017 first-years to the Kovsie family.

The event, which was also the start of the first-year Gateway Programme, took place on Saturday, 21 January 2017, and saw first-years and their parents make their way to the Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus where they were formally welcomed.

UFS to produce world graduates
As newcomers, Prof Petersen wanted the fresh faces to feel welcome, to feel a sense of belonging. “You are now a Kovsie, and we want you to experience that Kovsie life until you graduate,” he told them.

During his speech, Prof Petersen reassured parents that the academic year would be completed and that the UFS would operate as an institution. He encouraged the students to absorb and gain knowledge and said the university would strive to ensure excellent knowledge. “At the UFS, we want to produce graduates for the world, and we need to ensure that we use our knowledge to uplift society,” he said.

Use differences to benefit from one another
KovsieFM presenters, Tshwaro Thothela and Gontse Choane played host to the gathering and Pura Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs, encouraged the first-years to use their differences to benefit from one another and to learn from this opportunity. “Make sure that the good that you do is for yourself, for others and for the university,” he said.

Prof Nicky Morgan, Acting Vice-Chancellor and Rector, welcomed Prof Petersen, his wife Cheslyn, and their two sons, Curtis and Clayton, to the UFS.

The newcomers also had an opportunity to visit their respective faculties and get to know the staff and facilities better.

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