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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

It's a Black-White Thing
2014-06-03

Seasoned American journalist, Donna Bryson, will launch her book at the Bloemfontein Campus. It's a Black-White Thing offers a story of hope for our country thirsty for good news. 
 
During 2008, Bryson – who was also in SA reporting on our first all-race elections – visited the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. The reason: to investigate the raging furore around the now-infamous Reitz event. Speaking to students, staff and two former rectors, she realised that the campus was indeed a microcosmic reflection of our country at large.
 
Now returning to where it all started, Bryson’s book shows that real change is finally taking place. Her stories tell of inspiring individual transformations under the leadership of Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS.
It's a Black-White Thing offers a story of hope for our country longing for good news.
 
Come join Donna Bryson and Prof Jansen when they will discuss the book during a public event. The launch of her book is hosted by the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, in cooperation with the Department of Communication and Brand Management. The discussion forms part of the university's 20 years of democracy celebration series.
 
It’s a Black-White Thing is Bryson’s first book and was shortlisted for the City Press Tafelberg Nonfiction Award.
 
Date: Thursday 5 June 2014
Time: 10:00 – 11:00
Venue: Flippie Groenewoud Building (FGG), Block B, Room 202, Bloemfontein Campus

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