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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

First Global Leadership Summit brings partner universities to our university
2012-05-17

The University of the Free State (UFS) is gearing up for the Global Leadership Summit when students from universities all over the world will visit the UFS. The summit will take place from Sunday 8 July to Friday 20 July 2012. About 180 staff and students from universities in the United States, Asia and Europe are expected to visit the UFS during these two weeks and eminent scholars and politicians have already confirmed their participation. Among them are Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Dr Tim Murithi, Prof. Mark Solms, Fulbright Scholars who were previously tenured at the university, and a number of ambassadors.

Prof. Aldo Stroebel, Director: International Academic Programmes, Office of the Vice-Chancellor, says that our university has increasingly embedded internationalisation in its strategic priorities. The Leadership for Change Programme, jointly hosted by International Affairs and Student Affairs, is a significant step forward in this context. This innovative and unique programme, initiated in 2010, serves as a leadership development programme focused on first-year students. It aims to build layers of new thinking and engagement among students from diverse backgrounds. As part of a year-long engagement, each student spends a period abroad where there is intense exposure to the academic, social, cultural and residential lives of students in other countries. A formal mentor development programme for staff runs concurrently with the initiative.
 
In the 2010 programme, 71 students in various cohorts were placed at nine universities in the USA. Following on the success of this initiative, in 2011, 150 students were hosted at partner universities in the USA, Europe and Japan. The impact of cross-cultural and cross-border experiences on changing and enriching the participants’ minds and attitudes has been manifested in a wide variety of ways at both the UFS and the partner institutions.
 
The Global Leadership Summit, with the theme, “Transcending Boundaries of Global Change Leadership”, is a reciprocal programme of the Leadership for Change initiative. It will focus on international engagements in addressing salient issues around change leadership, diversity and racial reconciliation in Higher Education through critical dialogues between staff and students from all over the world.
 
The programme will be continued during 2013 when 150 students will again be selected for participation and placement abroad.


Media Release
17 May 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

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