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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 Rose Ball promises to be an unforgettable experience
2005-09-08

On Saturday 15 of October 2005, the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of the Free State (UFS) in collaboration with Medi-Clinic, are hosting a Rose Ball in aid of children and babies with serious diseases and special needs.

The Bloemfontein public should get ready for one of the most magnificent events ever held in the city. 

The Rose Ball promises to offer an evening of glamour, elegance and beauty which will make it an unforgettable and unique event.  The Department aims to make the Rose Ball an annual event to which the Bloemfontein public can look forward to with expectation.

“Excellent food and wine, a 35 man symphony orchestra and of course a magical setting awaits those who attend the Rose Ball.  We will do everything possible to make guests feel special, so that they return to the Rose Ball year after year.  In this way, we can ensure an annual income from this event for children and babies who are very ill and need specialised care,” said Prof. André Venter, Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the UFS is responsible for the tertiary care, that is highly specialised care, of around 1 000 000 children in the Free State, Northern Cape, North-West, Eastern Cape and Lesotho.  Approximately 13 000 out-patients are treated at the Universitas and Pelonomi Hospitals annually.  Children who suffer from cancer, heart disease, neurological disease and endocrinological and gastro-enterological conditions are treated.  The Department is also responsible for children who need intensive care and children with contagious diseases.  In addition, there is a large neonatal unit where prematurely born babies are treated.

The level of health care needed to treat these children and babies, necessitate highly specialised equipment and knowledge.  However, it is not always possible to replace or upgrade equipment, due to the lack of much-needed funds.  That is why a fund was created within the Department to satisfy the need for funds. The Rose Ball promises to eventually give a vital boost to the fund that will go a long way toward providing in the special healthcare needs of these patients.

The Rose Ball is made possible thanks to the support of Medi-Clinic.

“Medi-Clinic is honoured to be involved in this great effort and in this way take hands with the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the UFS.  There are so many children with life-threatening diseases today and we cannot afford to be uninvolved in any effort to make life better and easier for these children.  We at Medi-Clinic, as a private sector company, look forward to establishing a long-term commitment with the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health,” said Mr Sakkie van der Merwe, Hospital Manager of Bloemfontein Medi-Clinic.

Only a limited number of tables are still available for the Rose Ball.  Tickets cost R500 per person or R5 000 per table of 10 people. 

Those who are interested can contact Ms Ilse Olivier at 051-4012415 or Ms Adele van Aswegen at 051-4013535 for more information.

Media release
Issued by:  Lacea Loader
   Media Representative
   Tel:  (051) 401-2584
   Cell:  083 645 2454
   E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
8 September 2005
 

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