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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

Famous mineralogists visit UFS Geology
2017-04-25

Description: Famous mineralogists visits UFS Geology Tags: Famous mineralogists visits UFS Geology

From the left: Prof Marian Tredoux, Associate
Professor at the UFS Department of Geology;
Prof Giorgio Garuti; from the University of Leoben,
Dr Federica Zaccarini, also from the
University of Leoben and Dr Freddie Roelofse,
Head of the Department of Geology at the UFS.
Photo: Rulanzen Martin


Years of academic friendship and collaboration is what makes Prof Giorgio Garuti and Dr Federica Zaccarini return to the University of the Free State (UFS) every so often.

The world-renowned academic duo from the University of Leoben in Austria were guest lecturers at the UFS Department of Geology. “We are here because we have known Professor Marian Tredoux and the Geology Department, for a long time. We are really happy to be here, and to be given the opportunity to present talks,” said Dr Zaccarini. The two are experts in platinum-group element mineralogy and each has given their surname to minerals namely, the Garutiite and Zaccariniite minerals.

Visit great advantage for research

They are acclaimed experts on very small minerals (smaller than a hundredth of a millimetre) with emphasis on platinum group elements in chrome-rich rocks. “Their visit is a great advantage for us. We also conduct research on these minerals and can learn from them,” said Prof Marian Tredoux, affiliated researcher at the Department of Geology.

Dr Zaccarini gave a lecture on Chromitites, and associated platinum-group elements, in ophiolites on Wednesday 5 April 2017 and Dr Garuti presented a lecture on Uralian-Alaskan complexes: a puzzling source of platinum, on Thursday 6 April 2017. During the talks they examined the association of the platinum-group minerals with chromite, rather than sulphide, and how this association can lead to the formation of unusual platinum-group element ores.

Collaboration on various academic papers

They and Prof Tredoux have collaborated on various research articles over the past four years, which have been published in various important international scientific journals. “These journals play an important role in calculating the H-scale which measures how important a researcher’s work is on an international scale,” said Prof Tredoux.

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