SA’s eminent persons recognised for flying SA flag high

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has commended South Africans who have excelled in their respective fields of work at a glittering event in Cape Town.

The 2nd Annual Ubuntu Awards cut across eight categories – from an economic diplomacy award to social responsibility diplomacy and the OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards are aimed at rewarding organisations or individuals who have, through excellence, innovation, creativity, inventiveness, social responsibility or patriotism, distinguished themselves as true ambassadors of South Africa.

President Zuma said this year’s recipients had distinguished themselves in their service to the country.

“South Africans participate in many activities around the world. This can be business, sports or the social development arena where they visit the world attending conferences on issues relating to women, children, health, education, science and technology and many others.

“Others travel the world as tourists and never fail to highlight the good work that their country does in the international arena and also at home.

“Today we honour those who hold our beautiful flag high, and who contribute to not only telling, but demonstrating the good story of the Republic of South Africa.

“The men and women that have been honoured here today are inspirational examples of this. In their various industries they have truly excelled thus promoting a positive image of our nation across the globe,” he said.

Among the night’s winners were athletics rising star Wayde van Niekerk, who took home the Ubuntu Sports Diplomacy Award for winning gold at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last year.

This year’s Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Award was won by two South African music heavyweights.

Multi-award winning record producer, DJ Black Coffee was recognised for his successful career. He has grown since winning a DJ competition in the 1990s to an influential musician in Africa.

A representative from Sony Music accepted the award on his behalf as he was in Italy “performing in sold out shows”.

World-renowned trumpeter, flugelhornist, bandleader, composer and singer Bra Hugh Masekela – the only man in South Africa who can blow his own horn – was recognised for his immeasurable contribution to arts and culture and to the liberation struggle through song during a career that spanned for many decades.

Having been exiled for many years, is song “Bring back Nelson Mandela” in 1986 kept the fight against apartheid alive.

Upon receiving his award, Masekela urged the audience to never forget award-winning songstress and icon, the late Miriam Makeba, who he said “made everyone know about South Africa” during the days of the struggle while performing in foreign stages during apartheid.

The main award of the evening went to struggle stalwarts Mme Agnes Msimang and the late Johnny Makhathini, who were both recognised under the OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award.

At age 87, Msimang – who was honoured for her excellent contribution in the fight against the unjust laws of apartheid - received the award in person on Saturday night. Guests were told that Mme Msimang was still active in politics and went to Luthuli House daily and sometimes on weekends.

Makhathini, who died in exile, was honoured for his contribution to African National Congress structures in exile.

In other categories, Standard Bank won the Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award in Africa, while Discovery was honoured with the global award under the same category.

Rescue SA and the Motsepe Foundation shared the Ubuntu Social Responsibility Award for their contribution through corporate social investment initiatives, while Ambassador Bene L. M’poko won the Ubuntu Ambassadorial Excellence Award.

Former Miss Earth and LeadSA executive Catherine Constantinides walked away with the Ubuntu Youth Diplomacy Award. –

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