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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

Anonymous e-mail campaign
2008-03-14

Statement by Prof. Frederick Fourie, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS)

A number of anonymous e-mails have been sent around the country the past couple of days creating a false impression about the situation on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

In the e-mail reference is made to the morning of Tuesday, 4 March 2008 when incidents of intimidation by black students occurred on the Main Campus.

In the e-mail it is alleged that a white girl was attacked at the food court, her clothes ripped from her body, thrown off the Thakaneng Bridge (the university’s student centre) and that she had to run back to her residence. This is not true and if it was the case, the matter would have been reported and would have been addressed immediately.

Allegations of chaos and disorder on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein are also made in the e-mail. This is also untrue. Two peaceful protest marches, for which permission was granted, have already taken place yesterday and today (Thursday, 13 March 2008). These marches took place without any incidents.

I regard this as an anonymous campaign to whip up emotions, destabilise the campus and to instill fear among staff and students who are traumatised by the Reitz video and the repercussions thereof.

I urge parents, especially, not to allow themselves to be upset by such false rumours and e-mails.

All the university’s community, including parents, staff and students must come to terms with the Reitz video in a calm and rational way. The UFS management is intensively busy to manage this situation in the interest of the university and all its people. Academic activities are continuing as normal.


Media Release
Issued by: Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 3422
Cell: 072 207 8334
E-mail: fishera.stg@ufs.ac.za  
13 March 2008

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