Thursday, November 27, 2008

Free State News (Nov 2008)


This web page(s) would regularly focus on the leading Free State (South Africa) newspaper – Free State news – the first regular newspaper to be orchestrated fully by black people in the Free State province (soon the paper will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary). The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Here, we shall have regular items like “Feature of the week”, which started in July, 2008

Free State News crew

Moses Vinger

Confidential Secretary/Manager
Maki Mohapi

Kaya M

News Editor
Omoseye Bolaji

News Desk
Julia Stuurman
Flaxman Qoopane
Neo Mvubu
Thabo wa Makae

Sports Reporter
Michael Tlhakudi

Marketing Desk
Thabo wa Makae

Lay-out artist
Tumisang Takang

Fresh Pix

Contact number:
051 447 1655

28 NOV – 04 DEC 08 edition


“Hark at this praise singer!” By Flaxman Qoopane (page 2)
(reproduced here)

Hark at this praise singer!

By Flaxman Qoopane

Yakobi Sixam (41) a powerful and captivating praise singer, honed his skills from a young age whilst based in the Eastern Cape. “I was only 14 when I started to become a praise singer” he told Free State news. “I was at Mbashane farm at King Williams Town. My father (Sihlalo) then had thirty cattle and I used to look after them. There was a big bull called Zadunge (dirty floor) among the cattle. The bull used to fight and intimidate other bulls and I used to praise it; that is how I became a praise singer”

Sixam attended Nonto Primary School. “At the Primary school the principal noted my talent as a praise singer. She encouraged me to perform at school concerts. She was tough on me, insisting I was word perfect in my renditions. I also performed at sundry school functions,”

He also reminisced that in those days when his father wanted to slaughter one of his cattle, he would take him (Sixam) to the kraal, and ask him to praise the cattle and their ancestors. “Mothers from other villages would come to my father’s ceremony and used to ukuyiyisela (ululate)” he smiled.

Sixam became very popular in the Eastern Cape. “When people from our neighbouring villages were having traditional ceremonies, they would invite me to their events to do praise singing,” he said.

From 1978 – 88 he studied for a Bachelor of Pedagogics (B.Ped) at Fort Hare University. “Prof Mkhonto introduced me to Xhosa poetry and praise singing and encouraged me to work harder as a praise-singer,”

Sixam has garnered several awards. In 1988 he was awarded the Battle of Poets in East London. In 2000 he was given the Premier’s Poetry Award in the Eastern Cape. From 2002 – 2008 he performed at the Arts Festival in Grahamstown with distinction. Also the Eastern Cape Dept of Water Affairs involved Yakobi Sixam in a project to train young praise-singers. Sixam also recently wowed audiences at the recent Macufe Wordfest in Mangaung here.

21 NOV – 27 Nov 08 edition


“Jolly day for disadvantaged children,” By Julia Stuurman (page 2)
(reproduced here)


By Julia Stuurman

The refreshing sound of birds singing and the welcome breeze of fresh air were not the only things captivating at the Maselspoort Resort just outside Bloemfontein, as the reverberation of children’s laughs and excitement added to the wonderful order of the day.

This was the setting as Social Development, in partnership with Vodacom selected children from the disadvantaged communities in Botshabelo for the annual Toy Party held to entertain kids.

“We wanted to take these children to a place they have never been to before, just to enjoy themselves,” Vodacom Marketing Manager, Lungile Jama said.

These children were from Amohelang Intermediate School, Karabelo and Refentse crèches. Vodacom selected two hundred of them and transported them to the Resort. The kids ranged from the ages between four and nine years. The theme for this party was “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The entertainment was in form of pony rides, battery operated cars, face painting, jumping castle, a treasure, a treasure hunt and bracelet making. They were given gifts like skate boards and party goodies which included t-shirts and water bottles.

To seal the merry day, Father Xmas arrived on a pirate ship and children jumped on it to join him on his gift journey.

14 NOV – 20 NOV 08 edition


“Scintillating pre-School Graduation Ceremony!” By Thabo wa Makae (page 4)

(reproduced here)


By Thabo wa Makae

Stepping Stones Pre-Primary School held a graduation ceremony and a concert at Berg – Dal Church Hall in Dan Pienaar Bloemfontein. The aim and the purpose of the ceremony were to honor and crown the graduating youngsters. The big function was graced by the multitudes of parents and friends. The kids put on a great show, performing dramas, dancing and singing to their parents and friends.

Mrs. Maureen Vermeulen, who is the founder and principal of the Stepping Stones explained that she started to be a teacher since 1989. She studied for four years to become a pre-school teacher.

She stressed to Free State News that teaching the kids is like a calling to her because she wants to make a difference to their lives. She also mentioned that she is targeting kids from 3 years to 6 years of age. “One of my priorities is to prepare kids physically and mentally for next year as they will be joining other higher schools.” She said at the occasion. She added that she is so impressed about the support she gets from the parents.

Free State News talked to some of the parents of the graduating kids. Mrs. Lindiwe Vinger and Mrs. Mookho Monaheng both indicated that they are impressed with the performance of their kids. Mrs. Vinger said: “This is a memorable, unforgettable occasion. I have been stunned by the performances and intelligence of the kids. My own kid, Dintle has also done me proud!”

She and Mrs. Monaheng added that their kids joined the school without the knowledge of speaking English, but the children are now so proficient and confident! Free State news talked to the graduates; amazingly Dintle Vinger in particular is already fluent in English at the age of 5. The parents rounded off by saying they like the school because it promotes the mother tongue, and also inculcates respect. .

7 NOV – 13 NOV 08 edition


Free State News journalist scoops prestigious award” (Front page)
(reproduced here)


By Neo Mvubu

Free State News’ senior journalist, Julia Stuurman has come out tops, winning in the Features category of the inaugural Provincial GCIS Community Media Awards which were held in the Regional Hall in Mangaung this week.

Dignitaries who graced the epochal occasion included the Mayor of Mangaung Local Municipality (MLM), Eva Moilwa; Nthabiseng Mokotjo, the Councillor, Mokotjo Mokotjo former Lesedi FM Presenter, Dr Elsabe Pepler from the University of the Free State (Humanities Department) and Qondile Kedama, Communications Manager for MLM.

GCIS organised the Community Media awards to acknowledge the hard earned efforts of journalists. The awards were dished out in the following categories: for photo journalism, for features, for government based stories, and for sports journalism. There was also the Overall Winner category. There were dozens of entries in all the categories from all over the Free State Province.

Upon being declared winner in the Features category, Julia Stuurman stood up from her seat with disbelief as she was called forward, and her award formally handed over to her. “I am so happy and grateful to the people who made this journey with me worth travelling thus far,” said the “blushing” winner.

Julia Stuurman has for many years devoted her life to quality journalism. Career gongs for her include going through a short course in investigative journalism at Rhodes University under Sol Plaatje funds; writing for a London Based Magazine called Africa in Diaspora; receiving her certificate in journalism at ALLEBY Power Learning at the Midrand Campus, and going through an internship with Express Newspaper. She also worked for ZPR as a public relations assistant, and was an Abet educator. She has been strutting her journalistic stuff with élan for Free State News for some years now “Free State News publication has enabled me to express my passion for writing.”

She added: “These awards generally provide an indication that someone out there really values the work that journalists do, and this is a form of motivation for the aspiring journalists, a way to push them, and make them stay strong,”

The News Editor of Free State news, O. Bolaji, said: “Ms Julia Stuurman is a joy to work with. She’s a consummate professional. She’s cerebral, courteous, and charming. She also has maturity, momentum, and mystique. As a complement, when necessary, she’s possessed of a disarming, whimsical sense of humour! I’m very happy for her,”

The other winners were Nkosana Mashinini (Eastern Free State Issue) for photo journalism, Jabulani Dlamini (Express) for government based stories- and Overall Winner; and Teboho Setena (formerly at Express) for sports journalism.

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