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06 March 2020 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Supplied
Nomsa Mathontsi
Nomsa Mathontsi has been training with the South African senior women’s football team since Monday (03/02).

Whether she takes to the field or not, being part of the senior national women’s soccer team is already an accomplishment, says Nomsa Mathontsi. 

The BAdmin student in Economic and Management Sciences has been chosen for the Banyana Banyana squad for the first time. They face Lesotho on Sunday, 8 March 2020 in an international friendly in Johannesburg. There could be two Kovsies on the field, as Mating Monokoane, another University of the Free State student, was selected for Lesotho’s team. Both of them are midfielders.

The 21-year-old Mathontsi, who has been part of the Kovsie football team since 2018, says it will be a dream come true for her to wear the national colours. “Even if I don't get to play, I will still be proud of myself for being able to take on the challenge of going to camp and giving myself a chance to show my talent.”

“We have been together since Monday, 2 March 2020 and it has been the best experience, especially the fact that football has put me in the high-performance centre (South African Football Association girls’ academy), and now I get an opportunity to be with Banyana for the first time.”

“I was shocked when I got the call, but excited to face the challenge because it's never easy to get a call-up to Banyana, you need to work for it,” she says.

According to Mathontsi, who grew up in Mamelodi, Pretoria, her first love was athletics, but that changed during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
“I was an athlete back in primary school and it just so happened that I was selected to play football, which I never really enjoyed. I also had the opportunity to be part of the 2010 FIFA World Cup ceremonies, where I developed a love for football.”

News Archive

UFS History lecturer becomes Visiting Fellow at Harvard
2015-05-25

Dr Chitja Twala
Photo: Eugene Seegers

Prestige Scholar and lecturer of African/South African History at the UFS, Dr Chitja Twala, was recently accepted as a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS).

A Visiting Fellow status is available to individuals holding a doctoral degree to pursue independent research at Harvard. The Fellowship is for non-degree purposes but aims at the enhancement and further intellectual development of those involved. It focuses on enrichment and development programmes.

Twala was appointed in the Department of History at the UFS in the beginning of 2003. His research field is Liberation History, with specific reference to the liberation movements on the SADC region. He has published extensively on this field and presented papers in local and international conferences.

“I applied (to Harvard GSAS) in April 2014 for the Fellowship through the South Africa Harvard Fellowship Programme,” says Twala.

“After being successful in the interviews conducted by the GSAS panel in July 2014, I had to apply for admission in the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard, and got accepted for the Fall Semester of 2015.”

At Harvard, Twala will be mentored by Prof Emmanuel Akyeampong (African History Expert).

“Firstly, my main assignment will be to grasp a much deeper theoretical knowledge/framework in historical studies and a broader repertoire of methodologies in the field of African History. Secondly, if time permits, I will be presenting seminars and attending some in a very challenging, stimulating, and intellectually demanding environment where my ideas can be tested and expanded. Thirdly, I will be exposed to new trends as far as African historiography is concerned. Lastly, I will informally engage and exchange some ideas with some experts in the field of African History.”

The programme was recommended to Twala by the Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof Jonathan Jansen and Prof Ian Phimister, Centre for Africa Studies Senior Professor at UFS.

“As per the priorities of the Prestige Scholarship Programme, the Fellowship will assist in inculcating in me the intellectual breadth and depth required to pose critical questions and generate ground-breaking knowledge for History as a discipline. It is important for the UFS to establish and sustain international networks with other leading universities and scholars around the world.

“I applied for this Fellowship in order to advance further and broaden the scope in the three areas of scholarship in higher education: discovery, teaching, and public engagement,” says Twala.

Twala will be leaving for Harvard by mid-August and will return by the end of December 2015.

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