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First female Secretary General of IORA Ambassador Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe honored during the Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival

21 September 2018

By Stella Sigcau

Former Ambassador to Mauritius and Seychelles, Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe was honored with the Queen Majali Award during the 12th celebrations of the Annual Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival held in Ntabankulu, Mpondo Kingdom alongside her father the late liberation activist and first African Advocate Duma Nokwe who received the King Sigcau Bravery Award posthumously.

In receiving both Awards, she was joined by members of her family from various parts of the Mpondo Kingdom including Mbizana, Flagstaff and Lusikisiki Palmerton where her cousin Mr. Cinga Nokwe informed the Nokwe family came from. Advocate Nokwe passed away in Zambia in 1978 where he was in exile with his family.

In her speech, Dr Nokwe felt honored with both Awards and mentioned that this took place during an important time as her family was in the process of bringing the remains of her father from Zambia to be buried in South Africa. She commended the beauty of diversity expressed during the festival as this plays an important role in tolerance amongst cultures and can even be one of the ways to fight Xenophobia.

The late Advocate Duma Nokwe who was the secretary-general of the ANC (1958- 1969) took part in resistance against the implementation of the Bantu Education Act (1953) in 1955, was involved with the ANC's economic boycott in 1959, as well as the planning of an anti-pass campaign for 1959 to 1960 and was detained for five months in 1960. He departed for exile in 1963 and was involved with campaigns to recruit support for the ANC and to effect a comprehensive economic boycott against South Africa. In 1975 he was appointed as ANC director of international affairs and also periodically broadcasted over the ANC's Radio Freedom.

Queen Majali Award was launched in honor of one of Mpondo respected Queens, mother to King Marhelane who was one of the founding Kings of the ANC in 1912. She was wife to King Sigcau whose resistance of colonialism and imposition of hut taxes in the Mpondo Kingdom led to his arrest and incarceration in Robben Island. The King Sigcau Bravery Award was launched in his honor. She was grandmother to the late ANC liberation activist Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau. The Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival was launched in 2006 to commemorate his legacy and promote Mpondo culture and heritage.

The Mpondo Culture and Heritage Festival which took place from 12- 16 September was attended by various Kings and Chiefs from all over South Africa including King Zwelonke Sigcau of the Xhosa Kingdom, King Sekwati Mampuru of the Pedi Kingdom (Jane Furse), Chief Nkomo Mahumane of Tsonga in Giyani, Nkosi Phaahle of North West, Nkosi Makaula of amaBhaca, representatives of King Langalibalele from Escort, Nkosi Mpumalanga Gwadiso who represented the House of Traditional Leaders, Nkosi Magodongo Mahlangu of amaNdebele in Mpumalanga who were joined by their delegations.

Guests who came from all over South Africa and beyond including Botswana and Switzerland were treated to Mpondo hospitality, music, dance, food and to diverse cultural performances reflecting the diversity of South Africa. International performances included Swiss yoggling and electrifying performance by well-known artist from the Republic of Botswana, Casper the Golden Voice as well as performances by local artists including Nandile Ndamase, Csana, Butho Vuthela to mention a few.

The late Mpondo Princess and Minister of Public Works Stella Sigcau was honored posthumously with the inaugural Queen MaSarhili Award. The Award was received by her son Prince Lesley Sigcau. Other recipients include internationally renowned songstress Siphokazi Marhaqane Mohape with the Princess Stella Sigcau II Award, Businessman Mr. Gaba Ncame with the Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Memorial Award and gospel singer Lusanda Mcinga with the Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Lifetime Award.

Co-host of the Festival, Her Worship Mayor of Ntabankulu Sobuthongo paid tribute to the late Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau for the role he played in the liberation struggle and informed that together with the MeC of economic development Mr. Oscar Mabuyane who had attended the 14 September leg of the Festival and brought along two cows as a contribution to the Festival, have committed themselves in ensuring that a multi-purpose centre is built and statue erected in honor of Nkosi Ntsikayezwe by 2019. Founder and Chairman of the Festival Nkosi Nzululwazi Sigcau (Jongilanga) expressed gratitude to this commitment and informed that Nkosi Ntsikayezwe dedicated his life to a free and prosperous South Africa that belonged to all who lived in it and that it is important for his legacy to contribute in particular to rural development and promotion of unity in a diversity of cultures.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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June/July 2019

 
 
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