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The Awards 2009 ~ 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. The entertainment was co-ordinated by Mbongemi Ngema and Committed Artists.

A list of nine nominees are identified by various individuals and stakeholders which were sent to a committee made up of senior representatives of The Office of The Premier, The National Arts Council, Business Arts South Africa, The Independent Newspapers and Kizo Art Consultants who selected the final 6 awardees.

The recipients for the 2009 awards were:

Late Alfred Nokwe (Theatre)

Durban's Patron Saint of the Performing Arts

Durban's Patron Saint of the Performing ArtsPeter Machen pays tribute to the late Alfred Nokwe, whose life and work will be celebrated at the Heritage Awards at the ICC on 19 September.
This year the Heritage Art Awards will be honouring screen and stage legend, the late Alfred Nokwe. Nokwe, who died in June last year at the age of 73, was one of Durban's most beloved performing talents. Both in life and in the wake of his death, he was a kind of patron saint of the performing arts, providing strength and encouragement against the dark forces of apartheid and its legacy.

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Late Bheki Mseleku (Music)
Greatness Gone

The recorded legacy of the late jazz musician Bheki Mseleku, who died a year ago, is just a small residue of his ignored talent, writes Peter Machen

Gwen Ansel put it best in the pages of the latest issue of Baobab, a journal of new South African writing. “Nobody was interested. Now he is dead, everybody is interested”. She was quoting the brother of the late jazz pianist Bheki Mseleku who was protesting the way in which Msleku's supreme talents had been ignored in his home country.

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Jay Pather (Dance)

Honoured Guests, Fellow Award Winners, Ladies and Gentlemen

I am deeply honoured by this award. Thank you to the selectors, the sponsors and organizers of this event. I also want to take the opportunity to say how humbled I am to be in the company of my fellow Awardees, whose work I have respected and admired over the years.

It is a momentous time in our history where heritage is a place of both celebration and battle, when lost and marginalized aspects of our heritage have to be reclaimed as well as when aspects of our common heritage have to be let go of so that the new can be ushered.

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Johnny Clegg (Social Cohesion and Music)
Unity through Music

Johnny Clegg, who is being honoured at next week's Heritage Awards, occupies a special place in the musical history of South Africa, writes Peter Machen.
In the late '80s, for any middle class kid who was even vaguely opposed to apartheid, it was very difficult to hear any dissenting voices. While history now reveals that there was a thriving alternate media, that media was inaccessible to those in the country's white middle-class heartlands. Central to the twisted social experiment of apartheid was the overwhelming control of the media and the airwaves, and as a result, many people never got to hear the country's incredible wealth of protest music that ranged from Hugh Masekela to Brenda Fassie to the Kalahari Surfers.

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Nanda Soobben (Cartoonist and animator / arts educator)

Nanda Soobben honoured by Heritage Awards

Nanda Soobben has added much to the cultural life of South Africa, writes Peter Machen.

When I meet Heritage Award recipient Nanda Soobben at his Centre for Fine Art, Animation and Design, he is sitting at a desk in the foyer of the school. It is from this desk, which in most other such institutions would be occupied by a receptionist, that Soobben produces his daily political cartoons, which have over the years appeared in the pages of many of this country's newspapers, as well as being syndicated around the world.

Noria Mabasa (SA Sculptor and Wood Carver: visual art)
  An Maverick Genius

Noria Mabasa broke the mould as an African woman artist, writes Peter Machen.

Along with famous crafters Helen Sibidi and last year's Heritage Awardee Nesta Nala, Noria Mabasa is a hugely influential figure on the South African artistic landscape. Mabasa began to hone her artistic skills at the the height of apartheid – in 1974 she started to produce masterpieces in clay and wood – and the results were as revolutionary as the uprising that would follow two years later.  


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