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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

Department Psychology of Education hosts an empowering workshop
2009-11-30

The Department of Psychology of Education at the University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with the department of Inclusive Education (Xhariep district), recently held a workshop on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein to empower students, educators, departmental officials and parents to address the needs of learners diagnosed with Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as learners infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. Keynote speakers at this workshop included Dr Dawid Griessel (Paediatrics, UFS), Dr Annette Prins (Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development, UFS), Ms Santjie Vermaas (Occupational therapist, Motheo District Support Team) and Ms Jane Jarvis (Education Psychologist, specialising in ADHD).

The workshop, under the theme: “Empowering educators to cater for the diverse needs of learners in their classes”, was attended by more than 350. This first initiative has proved so successful that there have been countless requests for a follow-up workshop. At the workshop, from the left, front, were: Ms Santjie Vermaas (Occupational Therapist), Ms Sally York (Learning facilitator: Xhariep District) and Mr T.S. Tsipane (CES: Xhariep District). Back: Prof Johnnie Hay (Departmental Chairperson, Psychology of Education), Dr Dawid Griessel (Department of Paediatrics, UFS), Dr A. Prins (Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development ), Mr P.W. Terblanche (Chief Educational Specialist: Xhariep District), Dr Annalene van Staden (Department of Psychology of Education)
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe

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