Life Time Achievment Award

Thandi Klaasen

A South African jazz legend, Thandi Klaasens has travelled the world wowing audiences, dining with presidents and performing with international stars.

Now in her eighties, Thandi Klaasen, honoured with the 'Order of the Baobab'in 2006, is truly an enduring legend who has received numerous awards in the course of her long and distinguished career. In August 2013, as part of the Women's Month celebrations, Klaasen and four other icons of South African jazz were honoured by Standard Bank with lifetime achievement awards. Other awards she has received include the Woman of Distinction Award received in Canada (1999), and a lifetime achievement award at the 2006 South African Music Awards.

She ranks as a symbol of South Africa's musical golden age to which she contributed so much. She began her singing career in local churches and later formed her own all women band to compete with The Manhattan Brothers. Her singing career really took off when she was invited to join the cast of King Kong. While abroad she campaigned tirelessly against apartheid and continued to make music that spoke to the situation back home. In the course of her illustrious career she has shared the stage with many greats including Roberta Flack and Patty Labelle.




Dr Thembeka Nkamba Van Wyk

When the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy on Dr Tembeka Nkamba Van Wyk, it was in recognition of her work in promoting South Africa's cultural heritage, economic development, sustainability and entrepreneurship.

. Also known as "Daughter of Africa", she was not only passionate about education, but also about the development of community. Concerned about how South Africa's historical legacy had impoverished rural communities, degradation of the environment, hunger and traditional cultural skills that had been in existence for generations, she founded and launched the Talking Beads Academy in 1997 to use crafts as an instrument to fight poverty and thus encourage African women to use their talents and skills to realise economic independence and self-determination. To many people throughout the country and the world, she was known as the inspiring face of Ngezandla Zethu, a creative and cultural cooperative enterprise that prioritised and highlighted the role of crafts sector to job creation and economic development. In fact, it had over 6000 women who were affiliated with it throughout the country. For her vision and contributions to employment creation, Tembeka went on to receive numerous awards and accolades.

We pay tribute to Tembeka who is the epitome of The Mbokodo Woman, as we honour her legacy with the Mbokodo Lifetime Achievement Award, posthumously.