Media Statement

15 February 2016

South Africans honoured with Ubuntu Award for excelling in their respective fields of work

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, hosted the annual Ubuntu Awards at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday, 13 February 2016, under the theme: “Celebrating Excellence in Diplomacy.”

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.

The second Annual Ubuntu Awards covered eight categories. These are: 1) Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Awards (Africa); 2) Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award (Global); 3) Ubuntu Social Responsibility Award; 4) Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award; 5) Ubuntu Youth Diplomacy Award; 6) Ubuntu Sports Diplomacy Award; 7) Ubuntu Ambassadorial Excellence Award; and 8) OR Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award.

H. E. President Jacob Zuma delivered the keynote address and commended South Africans who had excelled in their respective fields of work.

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

“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,” said the President.

Among the winners were athletics rising star Wayde van Niekerk, who took home the Ubuntu Sports Diplomacy Award.

The Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Award went to two South African music heavyweights; multi-award winning record producer, DJ Black Coffee, was recognised for his successful career, which has grown since winning a DJ competition in the 1990s to an influential international DJ.

World-renowned trumpeter, flugelhornist, bandleader, composer and singer, Hugh Masekela, was recognised for his immeasurable contribution to arts and culture and to the liberation struggle through song.

The main award of the evening went to struggle stalwarts Agnes Msimang and the late Johnny Makathini, 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. Makhatini, who died in exile, was honoured for his legendary and towering accomplishments which earned him a permanent place in South African diplomatic history.

In other categories, Standard Bank won the Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award (Africa), while Discovery was honoured with the global award in 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 from the DRC, who also serves as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, won the Ubuntu Ambassadorial Excellence Award.

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

Full coverage of the awards can been seen on:

Enquiries: Nelson Kgwete, 076 431 3078


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460 Soutpansberg Road



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