Mama Afrika, the late Grammy award-winning singer and anti-apartheid activist Miriam Makeba, will on the eve of Human Rights Day - 20 March 2013 - be awarded the 2013 Ubuntu Honour posthumously. The CEO of the National Heritage Council (NHC), Adv. Sonwabile Mancotywa says that despite her death in 2008, Makeba's inspiring legacy endures as one of selfless sacrifice in the interest of others.
The Ubuntu Honour, now in its seventh year, recognises individuals who have distinguished themselves as an embodiment and champion of values that are consistent with the Ubuntu value system. It is a project of the NHC to harness this cultural value system as the common heritage of all South Africans.
The official public announcement of the Honour by the NHC will be made at the Makeba family home (489 Boundary Road, North Riding, Johannesburg) on 18 March 2013, 10h00 in the presence of Makeba's grandchildren Lumumba and Zenzi Lee and former colleagues of Miriam Makeba. Media is invited to attend.
"As the National Heritage Council, we can think of few recipients as worthy as Makeba, particularly as we consider the violence currently being perpetrated against women and girls in South Africa," says Sonwabile Mancotywa, CEO of the National Heritage Council.
"As someone who fought her entire life for the recognition of human rights - and even went to the lengths of using her own money and influence to set up a safe-haven for abused girls - we believe that Makeba would have used her voice at this time to call for the return to values espoused by the Ubuntu philosophy: respect, love, honesty, compassion, humility, unity."
The NHC will make full motivation for the selection of Miriam Makeba as the recipient available at the official announcement on 18 March 2013.