Creatives honoured at inaugural USIBA awards

By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article published Jun 5, 2018

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Emperors Palace was turned into a royal showcase, honouring the kings and queens of the cultural and creative industries.

The inaugural USIBA Awards, hosted by Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, are aimed at celebrating and preserving the legacies of artists for generations to come. 

At the event, held last week, Mthethwa said it was government’s intention to intensify investment in the arts and culture industry to create jobs.

“Art and creativity is more than just self-expression and self-communication; it possesses inexplicable and almost sublime qualities; that feeling of being able to create something beautiful to share with others. It enhances our imagination, with which we can do anything.”

He added that artists needed to be mindful and conscious of the messages they give through their art.

“It’s of great importance that our artists ask themselves if their art in all its forms inspires, gives hope, enlightens and is progressive in its contribution to nation building.”

ENERGY: Blondie Makhene performs at the inaugural Usiba Cultural and Creative Industries Awards. 
Picture: Siphiwe Nduli

The awards were a collaboration between the department and the Creative & Cultural Industries Federation  of South Africa (CCIFSA). Hosted by Unathi Nkayi and Bobby van Jaarsveld, the awards honoured the people who have made outstanding contributions in heritage and museums, visual arts and crafts, design and technical support services, literary arts, arts education, language and publishing, performance and celebration and audio visual and creative fields.

“Through the USIBA Creative and Cultural Industries Awards we are celebrating the expanse richness of our arts heritage across the creative arts landscape. We are taking a moment to pause and pay tribute to those who make the creative arts of South Africa  of continental and global renown- amd we are deliberate in ensuring that we do this while they are alive and not upon their deaths when they can no longer hear us praise them and thank them.”

PIPES: Rebecca Malope put on a performance like only she can. Picture: Siphiwe Nduli

The night also had performances from the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Brenda Mtambo, Thembisile Ntaka, The African Heritage Ensemble with Mbuso Khoza, a gospel medley from Derrick Ndzimande, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Rebecca Malope and Mpume Hlabisa.

Afrikaans pop icon Kurt Darren, reggae star Colbert Mukwevho, Ndebele queen Dr Nothembi Mkhwebane and legendary Blondie Makhene put on performances that showcased the variety of genres and talent the country has.

The iconic Jonas Gwangwa, Abigail Kubeka and Dorothy Masuka took the audience back to yesteryear, performing hits Pata Pata and Meadowlands.

AFRICAN MAN: The African Heritage Ensemble with Mbuso Khoza perform at the USIBA Awards. Picture: Siphiwe Nduli

Honourees included Dr Esther Mahlangu  for her contribution in the Visual Arts and Crafts field, Gcina Mhlophe for her work in the Language and Publishing field, and Moira Katz for her work in the Arts Education field.

Credo Mutwa, who turned 100 last week was honoured for his work in Indigenous Wisdom while Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, William Kentridge and Mogau ‘The Lazy Makoti’ Seshoene were honoured for their contributions to the Design and Technical Services field. Producers Anant Singh and Teboho Mahlatsi were honoured for their groundbreaking work in the Audiovisual and Creative field. Makhene and Mkhwebane were honoured with Dr John Kani and PJ Powers in the Performance and Celebration field.

Ndebele Queen: Dr Nothembi Mkhwebane was honoured at the event. Picture: Siphiwe Nduli

The Minister’s Iconic Awards were presented to Johnny Clegg, Sipho Mchunu, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Gerard Sekoto, Freddie Nyathela, Ronnie Govender, James Matthews, and posthumously to Phuzushukela Bhengu, Busi Mhlongo, Dr BW Vilakazi and Brenda Fassie.

The event was attended by creatives, young and old, and the Durban wave ended the night with a performance from DJ Tira and Distruction Boyz.


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