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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 appoints a Dean of Student Affairs
2009-12-08

The University of the Free State (UFS) has appointed Mr Rudi Buys as its new dean of Student Affairs.

Mr Buys is the Chief Executive Officer of iGubu Leadership Agency and has in this capacity been involved with student affairs by holding key clients in the higher education sector, including amongst others, the Universities of the Free State, Stellenbosch and Pretoria.

“Mr Buys has provided consultancy services to the Student Affairs Department of the UFS and he knows the strengths and weaknesses of the system, the climate and challenges. He also enjoys the trust of our students, is accepted by students across all races and has a sound knowledge of current student issues. He has a passion for youth/student leadership development and I am very pleased that he is joining this university,” says Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS.

"I consider the appointment an immense privilege – joining a higher education institution such as the UFS with a proud heritage and an even more significant future. I relish the opportunity to join the team at the UFS in realising the vision of an internationally renowned and socially responsive institution. I wish to thank the University for this vote of confidence and offer my utmost commitment in honouring the appointment. As the UFS has inspired me, I'm convinced that the institution will inspire our nation,” says Mr Buys.

Mr Buys has also worked as a Commissioner at the Western Cape Youth Commission, was spokesperson for the Western Cape Education Ministry and is a founding member of a number of civil society initiatives. His academic qualifications include an M.Theologia, B.Divinitatis (Hons Eq) and B. Theologia.

He will take up office on 4 January 2010.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
4 December 2009
 
 Mr Rudi Buys

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