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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

Students help to get the economy back to the rural areas
2009-08-14

 
At the launch of Sanlam’s Creativity for Progress Competition for the Ekn 324 group were, from the left: P.J. Bothma, Mr Frank Louw, National Sponsorship Manager of Sanlam, Dr Karen Thomas, lecturer in Economic Policy at the Department of Economics, Kaylee Wells and Eugene Maseme.
Photo: Lacea Loader


Third-year students in the subject Economic Policy Analysis at the UFS are hard at work to think of ideas on how knowledge and expertise can be taken back to the rural areas of South Africa. This is the theme of Sanlam’s national competition for universities called Creativity for Progress with a total prize money of R900 000. This year's topic is "Rural areas are failing to retain and attract skilled people and graduates, resulting in economic stagnation. How would you remedy this?"

The group of 162 students, which is divided into groups of six, must compile a project that is academically grounded, practical and implementable. They must also approach the project from a community service learning perspective and it counts a quarter of their semester mark. To encourage the students, Prof. Tienie Crous, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, has sponsored some prizes for which the groups must compete. Teams of between four and six members will first compete at intra-varsity level to determine a varsity winner. The national panel members will then adjudicate the varsity winners, and invite the semi finalists to the finals. Teams will be assessed on their business proposals as well as the presentation of these proposals to a panel of judges. Last year the group from the UFS ended second in the final round of the competition.

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