Media Statement

20 January 2017

Call for public to vote for finalists in the 2017 Ubuntu Awards’ public vote categories

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will host the 3rd Annual Ubuntu Awards on 11 February 2017 in Cape Town. The Awards will be held under the theme: “OR Tambo… in his footsteps.

The Awards celebrate South African citizens who, through their integrity, passion, patriotism and humility, have raised the South African flag high on the international stage.

Last year, the Department called on the public to nominate distinguished persons on the Ubuntu Awards website in the following categories:

  • Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award (Africa),
  • Ubuntu Economic Diplomacy Award (Global),
  • Ubuntu Social Responsibility Award,
  • Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Veteran)
  • Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Youth)
  • Ubuntu Sport Diplomacy Award,
  • O. R. Tambo Lifetime Achievement in Diplomacy Award, and
  • O. R. Tambo Lifetime Achievement Award.

As from midday today (12pm), Friday, 20 January until 6 February 2017, the public can further vote online on for one of the finalists in the following two categories as chosen by the Ubuntu Awards Panel of Judges (please see the website for the profiles of the Judges).

1. Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Veteran)

  • Esther Mahlangu: Esther Mahlangu is an Ndebele artist whose art is often exhibited internationally.She is known for her bold large-scale contemporary paintings that reference her Ndebele heritage.


  • Johnny Clegg: Johnny Clegg is an award-winning singer songwriter, anthropologist and a musical activist who has recorded and performed with his bands Juluka and Savuka, and as a solo act. His music, a blend of Western pop and African Zulu rhythms has exploded onto the international scene and broken through all the barriers in South Africa.

2. Ubuntu Arts and Cultural Diplomacy Award (Youth)

  • Pretty Yende: Pretty Yende is an operatic soprano. She has performed leading roles at opera houses internationally, including La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.


  • Laduma NgxokoloLaduma Ngxokolo is a textile and knitwear designer, best known for his men's knitwear range inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork. His designs have also gained recognition internationally including in London, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Oslo, Berlin and New York.

All Award winners, except in the aforementioned two categories, are determined by the Panel of Judges for the Ubuntu Awards.

Enquiries: Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974


OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road




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