Race renaissance for Bloemfontein

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Bloemfontein, the City of Roses, has a new nickname these days. Since the transformation process at the University of the Free State, or Kovsies as it’s known among students, started to pick up momentum two years ago winds of change have also been blowing through the streets of the city.

Now people are calling it the City of Reconciliation.

That black mark against South Africa’s conscience, the Reitz Four incident, is beginning to recede in people’s memories.

You see evidence of this on the Kovsies campus as well as in local hang-outs – at Buzerant on the Ferreira smallholdings outside the city whites and blacks langarm (a style of dance) to the sounds of Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.

YOU’s Pieter van Zyl was on campus to meet students and to chat to Professor Jonathan Jansen, rector of the University of the Free State, who says it was actually easy to kickstart the transformation process because “there’s something very special about the Free State”.

Read more in YOU 20 October 2011.

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