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30 November 2020 | Story Nonsidiso Qwabe | Photo Supplied

Acclaimed South African writer, author, and UFS research fellow Zubeida Jaffer was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for her career in journalism during the Standard Bank Sivukile Awards ceremony. 

Passion for journalism spans decades
During the award ceremony on 15 October 2020, Jaffer received the prestigious Allan Kirkland Soga Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises a sustained and extraordinary contribution to journalism. Jaffer said she never chose journalism, but journalism chose her. She said when she first stepped into a newsroom looking for a holiday job in the 1970s, she did not know she had stepped into her future in news reporting. Since then, Jaffer has earned many accolades in the journalism industry as well as in academia. She also became an acclaimed author, and wrote her third book, Beauty of the Heart: The Life and Times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, during her time as a writer-in-residence at the UFS. While at the UFS, she founded the online media platform, The Journalist, a platform that provides history and context for key issues facing South African journalists. This portal also links students with academics across the country and will soon be extended to the African continent and the diaspora.

Jaffer said she felt blessed to be recognised among the many journalism pioneers in South Africa. 

“It’s extremely wonderful because it came so out of the blue. This year, with COVID-19, I was digging deep, and trying my best to keep focus. I’m very thankful. It’s made me pause, reflect, and realise that a lot of things I’ve done have been of value. When living your life, it’s not that you’re aware of that all the time. There are many people doing great things who don’t always get this kind of recognition,” Jaffer said.

Still a great need for journalists in South Africa 

Talking about journalism today, Jaffer said: “I am often overwhelmed to witness the enthusiasm and determination of young journalists across the country who come from humble backgrounds and inspire those around them. Our country is gripped in a bipolar condition. It is not clear how the healing will come, but it will. The challenge is to keep our minds in balance so that we can be strong enough to root out corruption and gender-based violence, while at the same time fully understanding our blessings as a people.”

UFS alumna Rising Star in Journalism 

In another accolade for the UFS, the Upcoming/Rising Star of the Year award went to former UFS Journalism student Brümilda Swartbooi for her article titled ‘Sy het hard vir ons gewerk’. The article highlighted the senseless killing of a woman outside her workplace, minutes after her husband dropped her off.

Brümilda Swartbooi. Photo: Supplied

News Archive

Student leaders take the lead by launching SRC Fund
2017-08-24

  Description: SRC Breakfast Tags: Student Representative Council, SRC Fund, Pura Mgolombane, Prof Nicky Morgan, Sikhululekile Luwaca

The Student Representative Council (SRC) launched the SRC Fund
at a Business Breakfast on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Johan Roux

     


The Student Representative Council (SRC) is not just asking for financial help, but is taking the lead by launching the SRC Fund. According to different guest speakers at a recent SRC Business Breakfast, the student leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) is setting an example.
“They (the SRC) are saying to us and to you: We are not just saying that we want free education in our lifetime. We are also prepared to assist government in assisting universities however we can in that direction,” says Pura Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs at the UFS.

Objectives of fund

The SRC launched the SRC Fund on 4 August 2017 at the Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus in order to fight against financial exclusion of students. The fund aims to centre all forms of fundraising initiatives by students, decreasing financial barriers to UFS entry, and utilising and maximising networks within business enterprise, former SRC members, alumni, and student fundraising initiatives. It also wants to help with the creation of exposure and mentorship programmes, funds to assist with registration and financial exclusions, entrepreneur development, partnership opportunities, and increasing employment opportunities.
Initiatives such as Right2Learn will in future form part of the fund, and fundraising initiatives such as The Cycle Tour and Kovsies Biggest Braai has also been launched.

Internal and external partnerships 
Prof Nicky Morgan, Vice-Rector: Operations at the UFS, says the SRC leadership is not just asking for money. He says they are a “can do leadership” who is asking others to help them to be successful. He also stressed the important relationship between the university and the city and asked that they should work together.
Sikhululekile Luwaca, President of the Bloemfontein SRC, said the SRC wants to “build internal and external partnerships, because universities are microcosms of society”. 
“We cannot do it alone and that is why we are trying to bring the business part of it, the corporate enterprise, to also assist the SRC Fund to become sustainable.”

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