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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

UFS partner in first HDCA conference in Africa
2017-09-05

Description: HDCA read more Tags: Human Development and Capability Association, University of Cape Town, HDCA conference, Prof Melanie Walker 

The HDCA conference will take place at the University of
Cape Town from 6 to 8 September 2017.
Photo: Supplied


Academics from the University of the Free State are conference partners in the 2017 Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) conference taking place from 6 to 8 September 2017 at the University of Cape Town. It is also the first time the conference is held on the African continent. 

Prof Melanie Walker from the Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development at the UFS serves on the local organising committee, as well as on the programme committee for the conference.

Conference theme and context 
The theme for this year’s conference is Challenging inequalities: Human development and social change. The annual conference is a collaborative effort between the Universities of the Free State and Western Cape as well as the Human Science Research Council. It is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF). 

The conference is held at a key and historic moment for the continent and for South Africa – economically, socially and politically – offering the possibility to bring the approach to the attention of wider audiences of researchers, young scholars, practitioners, and policy- makers/brokers.

Click here for the conference programme

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