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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

Almost 2000 degrees and diplomas conferred at Winter Graduation
2015-06-26

Live streaming will be available on: http://livestream.ufs.ac.za/

The 2015 Winter Graduations are almost underway. The highlight on the university calendar for every graduate will take place on the Bloemfontein Campus on 1-2 July 2015. On 1 July 2015, diplomas will be awarded by the Centre of Financial Planning Law (331 in total) and the School of Open Learning (376 in total). On 2 July 2015, a total of 1 220 master’s and doctoral degrees will be awarded to graduates from all seven faculties.

A highlight at this year’s Winter Graduation is the awarding of three honorary degrees by the university. Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, Dr Mercy Oduyoye and Mr John Samuel will receive honorary degrees.

On 17 August 2012, Ambassador Brahimi was appointed by the United Nations as the new peace envoy to Syria, replacing Kofi Annan. He is also a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the first global initiative to focus specifically on the link between exclusion, poverty and the law. Prof Heidi Hudson, Head of the Centre for Africa Studies at the UFS, will receive the honorary degree on his behalf.

Dr Oduyoye is widely regarded as one of the most influential women theologians Africa has produced in recent history. Currently, she directs the Institute of African Women in Religion and Culture at the Trinity Theology Seminary in Legon, Ghana.

Mr John Samuel, who will receive an honorary award, is also scheduled to be a guest speaker at the two ceremonies on 1 July 2015.

Wednesday 1 July 2015:

John Samuel will be the speaker at both ceremonies. He is one of South Africa’s leading education experts with international and national experience, covering a period of more than forty years. He was involved in the founding of the South African Campaign: Public Participation in Education Network (PPEN), established the Centre for Education Policy Development, the Joint Working Group (for The National Party Government and the ANC), the National Education Conference, and the National Education and Training Forum. He also made leadership contributions to the First Education and Training White Paper, the Transformation Strategy for the National Education Department, and the first Green Paper on Higher Education.

John is also Senior Programme Director of the WK Kellogg Foundation in the USA. He has also been the Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.

Thursday 2 July 2015:

Nataniël will be the speaker at both ceremonies. Nataniël is a singer, songwriter, and South African entertainer, who has crossed from the alternative circuit to the stage. For the past 10 years, he has become well-known for his outspoken Kaalkop column in SARIE magazine. His solo career was launched in 1987 and, since then, he has released 16 albums, staged more than 70 original theatre productions, and published 15 books. Over the past two decades, Nataniël has gained the title of South Africa’s leading exponent of the solo stage act. He manages Kaalkop Studio, his lifestyle retail company, and records on his own independent label, Nataniël House Of Music. He is an ambassador for Child Welfare SA, and also heads his own charitable foundation, The Nataniël Progress Project.

 

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