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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

Maestros from the world stage now lecture at the Odeion School of Music
2014-02-19

 
Prof Ruth Goveia

 
Danré Strydom

 
George Foster

The Odeion School of Music (OSM) at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently endorsed its commitment to excellence with the appointment of three exceptional performing artists and lecturers.

Prof Ruth Goveia (piano), Danré Strydom (clarinet and saxophone) and George Foster (brass instruments) all hold international qualifications. In addition, all of them have received tutelage from world-renowned mentors and performed across the globe. Their respective CVs are awe-inspiring – to say the least.

Prof Goveia has been appointed as an associate professor at our university. She obtained her doctorate in Music in Piano from the Jacobs School of Music at the Indiana University, USA, after completing her master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati. Prof Goveia has gained immeasurable experience while holding positions at several prestigious institutions, including the Albion College in Michigan and the Indiana University.

As a soloist, Prof Goveia’s performances are staggering. She has appeared in a number of recitals across America and even performed as a guest artist at the Kalamazoo College of Music. She took part in the Chamber Music Project of the New York-based Artur Balsam Foundation, and collaborated with clarinetist Randall Paul on a duo tour of Georgia and Alabama.

Danré Strydom has been appointed as a junior lecturer in clarinet and saxophone. She will also co-ordinate the woodwind programme at the OSM. Her training began in Windhoek, Namibia, and continued on to the prestigious Jacobs School of Music in Indiana, USA. From there she joined the Ghent Conservatoire in Belgium, reading for two master’s degrees – completing both cum laude. Strydom has performed with several renowned orchestras ranging from the Vlaams Brabant Symphony (Belgium) to the Sinfonietta Breda (Netherlands).

George Foster is filling the position of a junior lecturer in brass instruments. He completed his BMus degree at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town where he received the Anton Rupert Merit prize. As former Fulbright scholar, Foster read for a master’s degree in Music at the University of North Texas. During his study period in the USA he was a member of the University of North Texas Wind Band, the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. Here, he gained invaluable experience as a conductor as well.

Strydom and Foster are performing their duties at the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO), as well as the OSM. They will both play an integral role as musicians and collaborators within the activities and initiatives of the FSSO, and serve as coaches and instructors for the Free State Youth Orchestra.

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