A festschrift to celebrate Prof Lizette Rabe

Prof Lizette Rabe, who retires at the end of 2022, was recently surprised with the launch of a festschrift in her honour.

Family, friends, and colleagues attended the event at the Adam Small theatre complex on Rabe’s 65th birthday (14 February). Among the guests, were Rabe’s mother Mrs Edna (Ester) Rabe, her brothers, and even her granddaughter Fleur. Former colleagues like renowned food writer, Peter Veldsman and Prof Herman Wasserman from the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Film & Media Studies were also in attendance.

Prof Lizette Rabe was accompanied by her husband, Anton Hörstmann, and also shared the day with her granddaughter, Fleur.

Prof Lizette Rabe (far left) shared the festivities with some media friends, from left to right, renowned food writer, Peter Veldsman, Erna Oosthuizen and writer Dana Snyman.

As part of the festivities, Willemien Brümmer, specialist writer at Netwerk24 who also studied and taught at the Department of Journalism, spoke about the lessons she has learnt from Prof Rabe: “From her I learn that the core of journalism is not to see your name in black and white. It is caring.” Brümmer added that one needs to teach aspiring journalists “to have empathy with the frailness of others and to have mercy with those who have been trampled by life”.

Prof Anthony Leysens, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, praised Rabe for her contribution as academic and educator. He also mentioned her activism on behalf of people struggling with psychiatric illnesses

The festschrift, titled Stories van Hoop en Onthou, was compiled by Dr Marenet Jordaan, a colleague of Rabe who was also a student in her very first honours class at 26 Crozier Street in 2001.

Willemien Brümmer, prize-winning journalist, alumna and former lecturer at the Department of Journalism, referenced Prof Lizette Rabe’s recently published children’s book “Blou Feetjie” during her speech at the launch.

Prof Anthony Leysens, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, praised Prof Lizette Rabe for her contribution to the academy.

Dr Marenet Jordaan provides background around the origin of the festschrift she compiled for Prof Lizette Rabe.

The book contains stories around Rabe’s life, ranging from anecdotes about growing up with five brothers, what she was like as journalism student (in the first honours class), and the contributions she has made as founder of the Ithemba foundation that advocates for breaking down stigmas around mental illnesses.

The print-run of the book was small, but copies are available to view at the Department of Journalism, or in the main campus library of Stellenbosch University.


Copies of the festschrift, Stories van Hoop en Onthou, as they were presented to contributors to the book.

Mrs Elizabeth Newman, departmental administrator at 26 Crozier Street, wishes Prof Lizette Rabe happy birthday on behalf of all her colleagues.

Some of the students from the first class Prof Lizette Rabe taught in the Department of Journalism in 2001 attended the celebration. From left to right: Marenet Jordaan, Jacolette Kloppers, Prof Rabe, Anél Lewis, Le Roux Schoeman and Magriet Pienaar.

The festschrift opened to showcase “Vrou met vlerke”, an illustration by renowned artists Piet Grobler (also an alumnus of the Department of Journalism).

François Rabe, brother of Prof Lizette Rabe, presenting a contribution written by their mother, Mrs Ester (Edna) Rabe, during the launch.