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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 Department of Architecture Building receives SAIA Award
2014-08-21

 
The South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) conferred a national merit award on renovations and additions to the DHET UFS Department of Architecture Building. The UFS is very proud of this award.

The building, which was completed in 2012, was designed by Typology Architects' director, Henry Pretorius. Pretorius is also the Head of the Department of Architecture at the UFS.

“The merit award by the South African Institute of Architects, which was presented on 1 August 2014 at the International 2014 UIA congress (held for the first time in South Africa), is a great honour. Not only does the award recognise my work as an architect, it also brings back a certain degree of pride to the Free State and especially the UFS’s Department of Architecture,” says Pretorius.

The SAIA Awards Programme runs over two years to coincide with the presidential term of office, starting with the Regional Awards for Architecture during the preceding year.

A total of forty-nine (49) entries for varying buildings were received from the regions. The project range included residential projects, new public buildings, restoration of heritage projects and an academic research project.

From these submissions, fourteen (14) projects received merit awards, of which eight (8) projects received excellence awards.

The adjudication panel comprised:
• Sandile Ngonyama: SAIA President
• Paul Kotze: Architect, planner and academic from WITS
• Malcolm Campbell: Architect from ACG Architects in Cape Town
• Annemarie Meintjies: Deputy editor of VISI magazine, representing a prominent member of the public
• Peter Kidger: representative of Corobrik, sponsor of the awards. 

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