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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

Prof. Heideman appointed new Dean at the UFS
2010-09-27

Prof. Neil Heideman

Prof. Neil Heideman has been appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). His appointment was approved by the UFS Council during its recent meeting.

Prof. Heideman has been acting in this position since February this year, prior to which he was the Vice-Dean of the Faculty. He joined the UFS in 2003 as the Programme Head of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the Qwaqwa Campus.

“I see my role as Dean as that of a facilitator of processes that will further strengthen the faculty’s academic capacity, optimise the research environment and create a stimulating teaching and learning environment in which students can develop into skilled critical thinkers and socially responsible, global citizens,” he said.

He chairs the faculty advisory committees such as the Research Committee, Academic Programmes Committee, Community Service Subcommittee, Employment Equity Committee and Buildings Committee. He represents the faculty on the National Science and Technology Forum and the National Science Deans’ Forum, and is also a panel member of the Rhodes Scholarship Adjudication Committee.

He has about 23 years’ university teaching experience, and as a Fulbright Fellow offered a series of seminars on South African conservation issues to senior undergraduate and graduate students at Brigham Young University in the United States in 2007.

He has won several academic awards and is an NRF-rated scientist.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
27 September 2010

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