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South Africa to Honor Tracy Chapman and Peter Tosh

Written by on 21/04/2023

Pretoria, South Africa, APA President Cyril Ramaphosa has given accolades to a number of people this week for their contributions to South Africa’s freedom and culture, including renowned American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman and the late Jamaican reggae vocalist Peter Tosh.

The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo will be awarded to five foreign nationals on April 28. Director General in the Presidency Phindile Baleni said in a statement late Sunday that Chapman and Tosh (full name Winston Hubert McIntosh) will also be among them.

According to Baleni, Chapman is being honored for “her contribution to the struggle for freedom through her involvement in the campaign to free Nelson Mandela and by raising awareness of human rights abuses all over the world.”

The 1980s South African independence struggle made the “Fast Car” and “Talking About A Revolution” singer famous for her socially minded music.

Tosh will receive recognition for his role in the liberation fight in South Africa by “using his musical talent to advance the liberation cause worldwide through incisive and awareness-raising lyrics in his music,” the official stated.

Together with Thomas Oliver Newnham, a New Zealand anti-apartheid campaigner and educator, Tosh would get posthumous recognition. Newnham “was particularly instrumental in shaming apartheid South Africa, and stopping rugby tours between South Africa and New Zealand.”

For “providing steadfast support and friendship to freedom fighters by mobilizing international communities and raising awareness of human rights violations throughout the world,” Christabel Gurney of the United Kingdom would get the same honor.

German poet Ruth Weiss would be the final recipient of the Order of Companions of OR Tambo for this year. Weiss made a contribution to the liberation fight “through her prolific writing that shone the light on injustices in South Africa.”

Baleni, who is also the Chancellor of National Orders, stated that she has been a knowledgeable resource for other journalists and campaigners.

Baleni also disclosed the names of another 30 people who will get national orders in appreciation for their services to the progress of democracy and the enhancement of South Africans’ quality of life.

These include dramatist Mfundi Vundla, who will be recognized for his “sterling work in the television and film industry in South Africa.”

She added that his corpus of work in the arts is undeniable evidence of the importance of consistency.

The longest-running soap opera in South Africa, Generations, was created by Vundla and debuted in 1993.