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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

First solar charging station launched at UFS
2017-11-13

 Description: ' 000 1st solar charging station Tags: 1st solar charging station

Students can now charge their phones at the first solar charging station
on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Moeketsi Mogotsi

On Friday 10 November 2017, the first solar charging station (600watts) was launched on the Bloemfontein Campus. This unit will be used by students to charge their phones and Ipads. It is the first of nine units to be installed on all three campuses; five on the Bloemfontein Campus and two each on the South and Qwaqwa Campuses.

Team effort results in great outcome

The project was a collaborative effort between the UFS and FCE Consulting Engineers. Coenie van der Merwe, Prototype Design Engineer, played a vital role in designing the charging unit. Anton Calitz, Electrical Engineer in University Estates’ Department of Facilities Management, says, “We are hoping that by the first quarter of 2018, we would have rolled out the remaining eight charging units.”

Project to enhance sustainability and address student needs

Prof Nicky Morgan, former Vice-Rector: Operations, says, “This should be a symbol of affordable opportunities that will both save the planet and enhance financial sustainability.” Nico van Rensburg, Senior Director of University Estates, says, “This renewable energy project is an innovative way of addressing student needs.”

However, students are advised not to charge other electrical appliances at the charging stations besides their phones and Ipads, as this may cause the charging unit to trip.

The UFS was recently awarded for its contribution towards sustainability. This was in recognition of its amazing initiative to install and operate photovoltaic (PV) and greywater systems on all three of its campuses.

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