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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

Colloquium focuses on protection of reproductive and sexual health in Africa
2011-10-28

 
Proff. Charles Ngwena and Loot Pretorius, both from the Department of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett

Our Department of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law of the Faculty of Law recently convened a two-day colloquium with the theme, ‘Strengthening protection of reproductive and sexual health in Africa through human rights’.

The colloquium built upon the work of the university’s LLM Programme in Reproductive and Sexual Rights, which trains law graduates to become specialists in reproductive and sexual health as human rights. The LLM Programme was first established in 2005. The colloquium brought together delegates from different professional backgrounds, including academia, health sciences and human-rights advocates from across the African region as well as from abroad.
 
Delegates addressed the theme of the colloquium in sessions  organised around the topics: HIV/Aids and human rights; sexual health and sexual rights; reproductive health and rights; abortion-related issues; and the intersection between cultural and religious perspectives and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
 
According to Prof. Charles Ngwena, Director of the LLM Programme, and co-convener of the colloquium together with Dr Ebenezer Durojaye, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Constitutional Law at the UFS, the discussions flowing from the papers were to:
  • identify a persistent gap or challenge in the respect, protection and realisation of reproductive and/or sexual health as a human right under African human rights systems; and
  • advance arguments and suggestions that are aimed at addressing the gap or challenge and ultimately strengthening African human rights systems.
To address the regional dimension of the colloquium, the papers  delivered ultimately addressed selected reproductive and/or sexual health or right issues from a regional rather than a mere country perspective so that the experiences and challenges of the African region are captured.

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