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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

Kovsies proud of a gold PRISM Award for safety campaign
2015-05-05

Stefan Lotter, Leonie Bolleurs and Lacea Loader. All three are from the Departement of Communication and Brand Management at the UFS.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse

The University of the Free State, takes pride in the gold PRISM Award (from the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa) for the B Safe Take Action safety campaign that has been rolled out on the campus since 2013 by the Department of Communication and Brand Management.

The campaign earned the Von H Brand Provocateur gold award in the internal communication category.

“The UFS is the only tertiary institution to receive a gold award. The award is a great honour for the department, considering the cream of South African public relations took part in the competition, and the standard was naturally very high. It was also a feather in the cap for us that the uniqueness of the campaign received national recognition from our peers in this manner, said Ms Lacea Loader, Director: Communication and Brand Management at the UFS.

The university is responsible for about 32 000 students and 4 000 members of staff on its three campuses: the Bloemfontein and South Campuses in Bloemfontein and the Qwaqwa Campus in the Eastern Free State. It is of cardinal importance for the university that its students, staff, and assets are safe.

Apart from safety measures that have been implemented by the UFS Protection Services, the B Safe Take Action campaign has also been rolled out on the three campuses of the UFS. The campaign supports the safety strategy of the university. It is aimed at developing a culture of safety awareness in students and staff alike. The purpose of the campaign is for staff and students to take ownership of their own safety. In addition, it creates awareness of the safety measures that are in place at the UFS.

The campaign has been rolled out on various communication platforms. These include placards, pamphlets, lamp-post advertisements, an advertisement board, emails, and messages on student communication portals such as Blackboard, the UFS web and intranet, social media, information boards in the campus parking areas and on the pedestrian walkways as well as messages on refuse bins around the campus. “The fact that a variety of communication platforms has been deployed, the striking design and character of the messages, and the number of target audiences that have been reached further contributed to the success of the campaign,” said Ms Loader,

The campaign also received a merit award from the International Association for Business Communication (IABC). The award will be presented on 15 June 2015 in San Francisco, USA.

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