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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

New infrastructure development project planned for the Bloemfontein Campus
2015-06-03

Illustration by Incline Architects

The university community can look forward to two new infrastructure development projects on the Bloemfontein Campus. The construction of a new parking area for staff and students accommodated in the new Education Building, will begin as early as June 2015.

The project includes 113 parking places for students and 16 covered parking places for staff. According to Nico Janse van Rensburg, Senior Director at University Estates, the project will be tackled using several green approaches. “The parking area’s lighting will be solar-powered. The surface will not be the normal paving stone but will permit the water to drain into the ground and in this way be more environmentally friendly and minimise the greenhouse effect,” he says.

Several indigenous trees will beautify the area.

The new parking area will be situated opposite the UFS Sasol library’s student parking area, between the cricket field and the present parking area at the Education Building.

The second project involves a new roof structure at the Bloemfontein Campus’s main entrance security gate.

Since August last year, the university has been enforcing rigorous entrance controls. No person can access any of the five entrances of the Bloemfontein Campus without a valid entrance card. Should individuals not have a card, they must access the campus at Gate 5 in DF Malherbe Avenue where a temporary access card will be issued to them.  Scanning for visitors and service providers is also available at Gate 1 (Nelson Mandela Drive) and Gate 5 (DF Malherbe Avenue).

The  roof structure at the main entrance will serve as a security point. Primarily, it will provide shelter from the elements for those staff manning the area.

Nico says that the plan is to complete the projects before the end of the year. The projects are currently in the planning phase.

“The gate may possibly be closed for a day or two but the main work will be done during weekends. Certain lanes may also be closed from time to time to ensure the safety of both users and construction workers,” says Nico.

Staff and students will be advised well in advance if and when the gate will be closed.

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