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Ambassador Farnaud of France awards Gregory Maqoma and Georgina Thomson

4 May 2017

On Tuesday 2 May 2017, the Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr Christophe Farnaud, hosted a reception in honour of Georgina Thomson and Gregory Maqoma.

Ms Thomson was awarded the Officier de Arts et des Lettres and Mr Maqoma the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Ms Thomson is the renowned artistic director of the famous annual Dance Umbrella Festival in Johannesburg. In awarding her the award Ambassador Farnaud said, “By promoting the cultural exchange in performing arts through the Dance Umbrella Festival over the past 20 years, you are an exceptional example of determination and commitment”.

Mr Maqoma, an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher and director, was the head choreographer for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert held in Soweto. He also founded the Vuyani Dance Theatre. In awarding him the award Ambassador Farnaud said, “You are an outstanding and unstoppable artist, who did not let barriers or scars of the apartheid government determine your fate”.
The Order of Arts and Letters is a French order established in 1957 and awarded by the French ministry of Culture in recognition of significant contributions to the enrichment of the arts and literature in France and abroad.
There are three degrees: knight, officer and commander.

South African citizens who have been awarded the order are Johnny Clegg in 1991, William Kentridge in 2013 and Ramadan Suleman in 2014.

Embassy of France in South Africa



August 2018







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