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The Awards 2008 ~ Awardees

In 2009 The Awards was held for the first time at the ICC. The guest speaker at the awards was Advocate Mancotywa (National Heritage Council CEO). The MC was living treasure Gcina Mhlophe.

Late Nesta Nala - Aesthetic Genius

The Late NESTA NALA (1940 - 2005) came from a long line of ukhamba makers who lived in the Tugela Valley. Traditionally the clay pots would have been used for beer brewing and drinking but, using innovative tools and designs. Nesta elevated these everyday domestic objects to an art form that resonates with the spirit and precision of classicism. A chance meeting with archeoligists excavating near her home in the 1980s exposed her to early iron age pottery designs which she then developed into her signature style, with which she achieved international acclaim. Today this ceramic tradition continue with her daughters Jabu, Thembi and Zanele, whose ceramic work is in much demand around the worl

Barry Leitch - Cultural Consultant

BARRY LEITCH is a renowned Zulu Cultural consultant and entrepreneur who together with Kingsley Holgate, created Shakaland, the cultural experience near Eshowe. Leitch was also a key figure in the development of Sibaya Casino and consultant author for the stunning book Zulu. Says Leitch of his hybridd identity: "I am proud that my Scottish ancestors came to trade in this valley even before Isandlwana. We have always been a part of this community. We were not touched by the war of the english and the Zulus as we were traders not soldiers We were not touched by apartheid because we fought against it". Leitch also thanks the mkhulus and gogos who, as a child gave him a glimpse of the glory of the "old Zulu order" which has inspired his life.

Busi Mhlongo - High Priestess of Song
busimhlongo BUSI MHLONGO is one of eThekwini's great musical gifts to the planet. A world-class singer, dancer and composer, her extraordinary music carries a strong social message and defies categorisation. Drawing on various South African styles fused with Global elements, her electrifying music and performances are legendary around the world. Busi was born in Inanda in 1947 and attended the famous Ohlanga High School. Like so much of our musical talent, she spent the 70's and 80's in exile before returning to Durban, the place she loves so much. Busi has played with the cream of our music royalty and remains one of our most loved performers by musicians and audiences alike.

Fathima Meer - Moral Conscience
fathimameer FATHIMA MEER was born in Grey Street, Durban in 1928 to a highly literate and politically active family. As and activist and writer, she has been a tireless defender or the opressed. In her long career, she established many activists structures beginning with the Student Passive Resistance Comittee and the Durban districts Women's league. Her activities led to her banning in 1952, many subsequent arrests and even assasination attempts. She has also setup a string of educational institutions and published more than forty books on a wide variety of subjects. In the new South Africa, as in the old, she remains a tireless moral conscious, calling attention to the rights of the poor and the marginalised.

Mazisi Kunene - African Wordsmith

MAZISI KUNENE (1930 - 2006) is one of South Africa's most acclaimed literary figure, as well as an important figure in the liberation movement during apartheid, when he was the ANC's chief representative in Europe and the United States. Kunene studied at the University of Natal and left South Africa in 1959. Initially, he taught in Lesotho and years later gained the distinction of becoming Professor of African Literature and Language at the University of California in Los Angeles. More recently, he has been based at the University of Natal, Durban, though he retired several years before his death. Key works include Zulu Poems (1970) and Emporer Shaka the Great (1979). an epic poem inspired by the rise of the Zulu Empire.

Mzwakhe Mbuli  - Peoples Poet
Mzwakhemba MZWAKHE MBULI is known as the people's poet and has spent all of his career fighting injustice and promoting positive attitudes. Mzwakhe's uncompromising lyrics are set to highly charged township music and reflect the concerns of South Africa's urban and rural communities. From the dark days of apartheid when his work was banned to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela where he introduced South Africa's first black president to the world, the poetry of Mzwakhe Mbuli has comforted and inspired a nation. Importantly, his work also acknowledges our heroes, and Mzwakhe has poetically eulogized many of our important figures, as well as the struggles faced by ordinary South Africans.


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