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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

Centre for Sustainable Agriculture to focus 20 years’ experience on food security
2014-12-04

 

The University of the Free State (UFS) Centre for Sustainable Agriculture is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. According to Prof Izak Groenewald, professor in this centre, their vision in future will be to focus on food security.

Besides the centre’s role in training people to make a contribution to food security, Prof Groenewald and his team adapted the learning programmes to add mobility to its qualifications – students can now obtain qualifications in short courses up to PhD qualifications.

Short courses include:
• Introduction to Innovation and Rural Development
• Foundational Theories in Livestock Production
• Sustainable Plant Production

Persons interested in the Advanced Diploma in Sustainable Agriculture, can register for the following modules:
• Fundamentals of Rural Development
• Fundamentals of Agricultural Economics
• Sustainable Plant Production Practices
• Sustainable Animal Production Practices
• Basic written communication and presentation skills

Focus areas in the master’s degree programme are:
• Agribusiness management
• Value adding
• Rural development
• Plant production
• Animal production

The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture regards partnerships with institutions abroad as vitally important. For this reason, partnerships have already been fromed with the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), the University of Minnesota and the National Department of Agriculture.

Persons obtaining qualifications at the centre will be able to find employment in the following fields:
• Project management and planning
• Rural development sociology
• Livestock production systems
• Advisors in the agricultural sector of commercial banks
• Commercial and emerging farmers
• Extension services with government departments as link between farmer and government
• Lecturers
• Researchers

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