News Brief

These South Africans are Being Awarded Presidential Honors

From veteran musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka to actress Mary Twala-Mhlongo, these distinguished South Africans are receiving national orders from the president today.

The national orders are the highest honors that can be bestowed by the president of South Africa to South Africans and foreign nationals who have not only made it their business to advance democracy, but improved the lives of other South Africans. These awards include, among several others, the Order of Ikhamanga, the Order of the Baobab, the Order of Luthuli and the Order of Mapungubwe.


Among the recipients is internationally recognized musician, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. She received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for her contribution to music and bringing about social cohesion in South Africa. Chaka Chaka's song "Umqombothi" is perhaps her most well known and was from the 2005 album Hotel Rwanda which was used for the movie with the same title. Back in 2017, Chaka Chaka was awarded the Global Good Star and Power Award by BET.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka - Umqombothi (South Africa) youtu.be

Legendary actress and mother to celebrity and television personality Somizi Mhlongo, Mary Twala-Mhlongo, also received the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for her lifelong work in film and television. Twala-Mhlongo has acted in the historically important 1992 film Sarafina alongside Whoopi Goldberg as well as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and even The Dark Tower alongside Idris Elba. Twala-Mhlongo received this award along with fellow performing artist, Nomhle Nkonyeni.

Mathata Tsedu, a veteran journalist who for decades has dedicated his life to seeing the liberation of South Africa, was also awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in silver. He is the former editor of City Press and board member of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

In a special award, the Order of Mendi (for bravery) was awarded posthumously to Thapelo Tambani, a 9-year-old boy who drowned whilst saving a friend of his who had fallen into a construction pit. He is the youngest to ever receive this award.


Image by Kabelenga Phiri.

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The speculative photo series by Zambian collective Kabumba, re-imagines nine significant figures in African mythology, cosmology and folklore.

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Like Genevieve Nnaji's 'Lionheart', the film has reportedly been disqualified by the Academy because of too much English dialogue.

It seems films from Nigeria or films about Nigerians can't seem to catch a break at the Oscars. Just last week, Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart was disqualified from the Best International Feature Film category of the Oscars because of too much English dialogue. The film was Nigeria's first ever entry to the Oscars—a historic moment. Similarly, Austrian filmmaker Sudabeh Mortezai's Joy, a film about Nigerian sex workers living in Vienna, has also been disqualified by the Academy in the same category, according to Deadline.

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