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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

Trauma, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation Studies attracts global attention
2016-06-27

Description: Lerato Machetela  Tags: Lerato Machetela

Lerato Machetela is on her way to
Ghent University in Belgium where
she will spend 10 months working
alongside experts in the field of
historical trauma.
Photo: Eugene Seegers

Research excellence is one of the major driving forces at the core of the University of the Free State (UFS). This striving for academic distinction has found embodiment within Trauma, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation (TFR) Studies. Headed by Research Fellow and Senior Research Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, the research unit is raking in achievements consistently.

Cornell University Distinguished African Scholar Award
Leading by example, Prof Gobodo-Madikizela received the prestigious 2016 Distinguished African Scholar Award from Cornell University recently. Being honoured with this award affirms an unusual depth of knowledge and experience in a field related to the recipient’s own work. Through this award, Prof Gobodo-Madikizela is now also affiliated with the Institute for African Development and the Psychology Department at Cornell University.

Ghent University fellowship in historical trauma
Another member of TFR has caught international attention. Lerato Machetela – a PhD student at the research unit – received an invitation from scholars at Ghent University in Belgium. Machetela will leave in September, where she will spend ten months in Ghent with experts in the field of historical trauma. She will be affiliated to their university’s Cultural Memory Studies Initiative and the Psychology Department. When Machetela submitted her PhD proposal on transgenerational transmisison of trauma among the youth in Jagersfontein to the UFS Psychology Department panel, “it was hailed as a unique project, and a first for the department,” Prof Gobodo-Madikizela says.

Description: Naleli Morojele Tags: Naleli Morojele

Naleli Morojele conducting the research
in Rwanda that has formed the basis of
her new book, Women Political Leaders
in Rwanda and South Africa: Narratives
of Triumph and Loss.

Book explores triumph and loss of female political leaders
TFR cultivates thriving authors actively, the latest being Naleli Morojele, who is pursuing a PhD in the field of Political Studies. Soon, Morojele will be launching her book, Women Political Leaders in Rwanda and South Africa: Narratives of Triumph and Loss. Through the stories of significant female Rwandan and South African leaders, the reader gains insight into these women’s early-life experiences, struggles, and successes. Perhaps even more pertinently, Morojele’s book also exposes the ways in which gender inequality still works to smother their roles as citizens and politicians.

 

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