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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. Jansen meets the community
2012-05-16

 

Prof. Jansen listens attentively to Mr Teboho Moloi, who represented the Harrismith Business Forum at the community meeting where the UFS vision was shared.
Photo: Thabo Kessah

16 May 2012

We are very proud of our academic achievements, but without the human element, these achievements are not worth anything. This is according to Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, who attended a meeting with the Thabo Mofutsanyana community in the Eastern Free State.

Prof. Jansen made the community aware that the university has two very important and interlinked projects – the academic and human projects.

“Our university has ambitions to produce the best scholars in various fields, but this cannot be done if we neglect the human aspect of doing things in the right way. We want to produce academic giants as much as we want to produce graduates of life,” said Prof. Jansen to an audience that included representatives from the traditional councils, business, religious and farming communities as well as the Maluti-A-Phofung and Dihlabeng Local Municipalities.

Prof. Jansen said that the memorandum of understanding that the university signed with the Dihlabeng Local Municipality in 2010 was already yielding positive results.

“There has been an enormous improvement in the matric results of the Dihlabeng schools that are part of our efforts to contribute towards building a brighter future for our children. We want to thank the municipality and the Honourable Mayor Tjhetane Mofokeng for being part of this partnership,” added Prof. Jansen.
 
“We are grateful that the university is considerate of its stakeholders in developing this Maluti-A-Phofung area. I am also aware that this institution has contributed towards the building of a crèche in the Mabolela village in Qwaqwa and for this we are very happy,” said Ms Linah Mnisi from Motlotlwane Projects and Consultants.
 

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