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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

Oncology department celebrates 50 years of excellence
2017-09-07

  Description: Oncology photo Tags: Oncology, cancer, University of the Free State, UFS, Dr Alicia Sherriff, Faculty of Health Sciences

The UFS Department of Oncology celebrated 50 years of
existence. Prof Louis Goedhals says that the department
is like a family that will carry and support you.
Photo: Wendy Ruth
 



South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030 and from a global perspective, a 75% increase is expected, increasing the total incidence of all new cancer cases from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030, according to a recent study published by medical journal Lancet. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), more than 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed each year. It is rather comforting that the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences has an Oncology department that has been fighting cancer for 50 years. 

Excellence over the decades 
The 50-year celebration of the Department of Oncology took place at the UFS Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on 19 August 2017. The auspicious event was attended by UFS Faculty of Health Sciences registrars, radiation oncology radiographers and professional nurses who had trained in the department over the past 50 years, as well as the current departmental staff.

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology welcomed the dignitaries and thanked everyone for their attendance and dedication to the department, Prof Louis Goedhals, the oldest surviving head of department, gave a summary of the 50 years. He said once you were involved with this department you became part of a family that would carry and support you. Memories were shared and friendships rekindled. The message of this department that stood the test of time was: “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always … and to bring hope”.

UFS dignitaries reveled in the moment 

Among the special guests were the Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences; the Free State MEC for Health Mr Butana Komphela, and CEO of Universitas Hospital Dr Marcus Molokomme, were invited. The function was well attended by personnel, graduates from as far as Portugal, and dignitaries from the university. There was a sense of unity and belonging among all the attendees and enthusiastic catching up over the years that have passed.

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