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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

Linguistic resourcefulness impresses at 15th Student Symposium on the Natural Sciences
2015-11-26


UFS students walk away with more than half the prizes at this year’s Student Symposium on the Natural Sciences.

This year, the fifteenth annual Student Symposium on the Natural Sciences was hosted on the Bloemfontein Campus by the UFS Departments of Chemistry and Physics, together with the South African Academy for Science and Arts (SAAWK).

According to Dr Ernie Langner, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, this symposium provides postgraduate students from all over South Africa the opportunity to present their research in Afrikaans, to learn from each other, receive feedback on their work through the review process, and to build networks. If their abstracts are selected for publication in the Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie, it also provides them with further exposure in the broader academic context.

Besides research of the highest quality, this year's symposium had no shortage of linguistic resourcefulness. “Students, accustomed to writing and expressing their research in English, astonished everybody with their beautiful Afrikaans. Outstanding research from honours, master's, and doctoral students was expressed in scientific terminology of the highest standard,” Dr Langner said.

The Student Symposium is the only event (worldwide) where the development of 'elektrostatiese potensiaalkaarte', 'femtosekonde pomp-proef spektroskopie', or 'endokrien-ontwrigtende chemikalieë' is explained step by step. This is where one hears enthusiastic students talking about how hard they are working on 'geïntegreerde drywende sonkragstelsels', or 'geneste virtuele rekenaars binne die wolkstelsel'. The results of hours of hard work in the lab, cold nights behind a telescope, or long midnight sessions in front of the computer, had to be condensed into 15-minute presentations on the synthesis of metal-organic networks, or metal-carbene complexes, the identification of pulsar rhythms, or the refining of rapid-eye technology.

Of approximately forty participants from five universities, eighteen were awarded prizes for their papers and posters. Students from the UFS walked away with more than half of the awards. Jacques Maritz (Physics) and his wife, Elizabeth, (Mathematics and Applied Mathematics) from the UFS were both awarded first place in their respective sessions.

 

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