President pays tribute to Ubuntu Awards recipients

Friday, March 23, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has commended the recipients of the fourth annual Ubuntu Awards for making a positive impact in their respective humanitarian work.

The President delivered a keynote address at the awards in Cape Town on Thursday night.

He said the work of the award recipients was very important as it kept the legacy of the late former statesman Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Albertina Sisulu alive.

“President Nelson Mandela spared no energy in pursuit of a just and equitable world.

“We have gathered here today to honour those who have distinguished themselves in pursuit of Madiba's dream and those who have received these awards must pride themselves in knowing that whatever award you received, it is an honour that is being bestowed on those of you who have received in remembrance and in pursuit of Nelson Mandela's dream.

“We are proud of all the nominees because their efforts resonate with the commitment of maSisulu to improve the living conditions of the people of our country and our continent,” he said.

Launched in 2015 by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the Ubuntu Awards celebrate South African citizens who play an active role in projecting a positive image of South Africa internationally through diligent service in their respective fields.

The awards were attended by Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of Parliament and award recipients from different walks of life.

The glittering event was held under the theme: “Honouring Madiba: A Global Champion of Human Rights, Peace and Reconciliation”.

Among those who were recipients of the awards on the night was Mdantsane-born celebrity chef, Siba Ntongana. Her Food Network show, Siba’s Table, won her the Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award youth category for hosting a culinary show that now has a global reach.

Social entrepreneur Thato Kgatlhanye, 25, won the Ubuntu Youth Diplomacy Award. At age 18, Kgatlhanye founded Rethaka, which produces recycled schoolbags that double up as solar-powered lights that children can use to study at night.

Kgatlhanye, who was recently listed among the young entrepreneurs to watch by Forbes Africa under the age of 30, now employs 30 people. In her acceptance speech, she urged government and the private sector to not only listen to ideas from young people, but to also be supportive of their ideas through investing in them.

Former Banyana Banyana midfield sensation, Amanda Dlamini, who has more than 100 caps and has represented South African women’s national team in the Olympics, won the Ubuntu Sports Diplomacy Award.

Struggle stalwarts Sophie Williams-De Bruyn received the main award of the evening – the OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in advocating for women’s issues during apartheid. Her work saw her lead the historic Women’s March to the Union Buildings in 1956. –

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