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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

Soetdoring/Kagiso pair-up wins 2015 Stagedoor
2015-03-03

With a new format and residences mixing it up, the 2015 Stagedoor proved to be a success yet again, leaving Soetdoring and Kagiso with the spoils of victory.

Stagedoor (the annual first-year residence stage and serenade competition) saw a change of format this year where residences were combined to perform in a few number of outdoor venues for rotations.

Prior to this, Residence CoRC Cultures expressed much concern regarding the co-operation that might (or might not) be achieved with working with other residences. These were all early stage fears. However, as their preparations progressed there seemed to be a glint of light at the end of many groups’ tunnels.

Seven diverse and combined groups made it through to final, namely;

• Vishuis and Tswelopele,
• Karee and Armentum,
• Sonnedou and NJ van der Merwe,
• Soetdoring and Kagiso,
• Roosmaryn and Vergeert-My-Nie,
• Villa Bravado and Madelief, and
• and Veritas and Marjolein.

The finals proved that the efforts and sleepless nights of RC Cultures, first-years, composers, and other behind-the-scenes contributors can really make any situation work.

As always, the crowd was blown away by the musical and vocal talent of first-years, as some compositions gave the audience goose bumps, leaving them asking for more. All in all, the evening created a frenzy, causing residences to interact whereas they would have never done so before.

According to the Student Affairs’ Arts and Culture office, the aim behind the new format was to break the barriers between residences. Arts and Culture were also pleased as to with how the RCs worked around accommodating their partners and ensuring maximum co-operation, despite some challenges.

As the night neared its closeclosing, residences were chanting their names and showing their pride in their first years’ performances.

2015 Stagedoor final results:

1. Soetdoring and Kagiso
2. Roosmaryn and Vergeet-My-Nie
3. Vishuis and Tswelopele

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