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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

Statement following a protest march on the Main Campus
2006-09-07

Statement by UFS management following a protest march on the Main Campus

A protest march by a small number of SASCO members took place at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Main Campus in Bloemfontein today (Wednesday 6 September 2006).

At the end of the protest march a memorandum was handed to the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr Natie Luyt.

The UFS Management remains committed to provide quality education to all students at the UFS. The management is also committed to the transformation of the campus and to creating a non-racial, multilingual and multicultural student life.

It must be remembered that certain processes are already in place to address some of the issues raised, such as a Transformation Plan Task Team, which is in the process of drafting a comprehensive transformation plan for the UFS.

Discussions are also already taking place between management and student structures, including SASCO, about certain issues raised in the memorandum.

However, the management will respond to the memorandum using the appropriate channels that exist on campus to communicate with all student formations, including SASCO.

The UFS management wishes to thank the SASCO members for the peaceful and non-violent way in which the protest march was conducted and for which the management had granted SASCO permission.

The UFS management appeals to SASCO to make use of the channels that exist to address the concerns of their members and find workable solutions in the interest of a quality university and quality student life.

Media release
Issued by: Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Cell: 072 207 8334
6 September 2006

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