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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

UFS Professor on his new book on Boko Haram
2017-02-01

Description: Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor  Tags: Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor

Prof Hussein Solomon, Senior Professor
in the Department of Political Studies and
Governance at the UFS and co-editor of the
book titled Understanding Boko Haram:
Terrorism and Insurgency in Africa
.
Photo: Charl Devenish

Understanding the nature of the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria is exactly what Prof Hussein Solomon from the Department of Political Studies and Governance at the University of the Free State (UFS) has set out to do.

Understanding the emergence of Boko Haram
Prof Solomon says tens of thousands of people have been killed in northeast Nigeria and neighbouring states as a result of the violence unleashed by the terrorist group. With the help of his co-editor, Prof Jim Hentz, who is an army colonel and lecturer at the Virginia Military Institute in the US, they set out to “understand the emergence of Boko Haram in a historical, sociological, economic and political context”.

In his book, titled Understanding Boko Haram: Terrorism and Insurgency in Africa, Prof Solomon “seeks to understand the emergence of Boko Haram in a historical, sociological, economic and political context”.

Book launch to take place in Chicago in the US
In his previous book, Islamic State and the Coming Global Confrontation, he analyses the origins and organisational structure of the Islamic State. Although an entirely new topic, but within the broad theme of political Islam, this book focuses more on how Boko Haram has become part of the Islamic State’s franchise in West Africa.

The book, which took more than a year to write, is based on secondary research, followed by primary documents and interviews done on the ground in Nigeria. It will be of much interest to students of terrorism and political violence, insurgencies, African politics, war and conflict studies, and international relations in general.

The official launch will take place at the African Studies Association’s annual meeting and takes place from 16-18 November 2017, in Chicago in the US.

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