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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 Odeion School of Music (OSM) launched
2011-09-15

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Odeion School of Music will be launched at the first Dean’s Concert in the Odeion on the Bloemfontein Campus on Friday, 16 September 2011.

The former Department of Music, in the Faculty of Humanities, has been transformed and will henceforth be known as the Odeion School of Music (OSM). This follows in the path of the corporate transition currently taking place at the university, which aims to reflect the progressive and dynamic striving towards excellence, as endorsed by the UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, and his management group.
 
Two years ago the faculty formulated a new mission with the aim to become an international faculty of excellence. An important component of it has been to create a pro-active marketing strategy and policy towards internationalisation and curriculum development.
 
The name Odeion School of Music portrays not only an excellent asset in the Free State, but also nationally and internationally. The school’s new name bears the respected Odeion brand and a number of successful and respected ensembles operate under this brand. These include the acclaimed residential Odeion String Quartet, as well as the Music Department’s student ensembles, the Junior Odeion String Quartet, the Odeion Sinfonia, and the Odeion Choir.
 
According to Prof. Nicol Viljoen, the Chairperson of the OSM, the name change was motivated by the following objectives:
  • The idea of a school within the Faculty of Humanities not only reflects an academic profile that does justice to the intention of the Department to reposition itself, but also simulates the current identity of the unit. This encompasses diverse thematic entities not only from an academic perspective, but also from a community and cultural perspective. The unit does this through providing services, which include arts entertainment, the provision of facilities, as well as a strong emphasis on community development.
  • With regard to an international perspective, it provides attractive possibilities not only from the perspective of a marketing and publicity profile, but also with regard to the identity of the unit.  
  • Hypothetically the new name allows more flexibility to complement the profile with reference to newly anticipated developments. These include the application of prestigious international experts as artistic fellows, membership to progressive European, jointly developed degree programmes and curriculum development initiatives, the founding of a chair in Orchestra Conducting, a master’s degree in Arts Management, as well as the incorporation of bio-kinetics in the teaching methodologies of performance practice, to name but a few.
  • From a management perspective it could also consolidate the perspective of scarce skill specialisation.
  • To give momentum to the establishment of the OSM, Mr Marius Coetzee was appointed as Innovation Manager. He is a former Project Manager of the European Degree in International Music Management – a joint degree initiative between three Universities from Norway, the Netherlands and Finland, funded by the EU in Brussels. His aim will be to develop and investigate aspects such as internationalisation, marketing, pro-active recruitment strategies, curriculum development and innovative teaching methodologies.
Mr Coetzee said music conservatories, from both European and American perspectives are managed and maintained as highly successful and substantial brands. From the European perspective some examples include the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (Finland), the Liszt Academy in Budapest (Hungary), the Grieg Academy in Bergen (Norway) and the former Sweelinck Academy in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Similar to the South African milieu, the majority of music conservatories in the USA and Canada are resident within an academic university.
However, unlike the South African reality, the majority of these institutions have a value-added identity portrayed by a specific name. Such an example is the renowned Peabody Conservatory of the University of Baltimore or the Jacobs School of Music at the Indiana University Bloomington, to name but a few.
 
The Dean’s Concert will highlight performances of students in the school. The concert will probably become a regular event in future Spring Music Festivals.


Media Release
15 September 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
 

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