Message from the convenor and producer of Mbokodo Awards

 

The determination to create platforms for women to affirm one another is the reason I stand firm in the belief that the Mbokodo Awards must grow into a movement bigger than just a reward system. It is essential that we ensure a network of women who know that supporting one another in no way diminishes the impact of each woman but it in fact amplifies the ability of women to advance their gains.

The passing of Mama Queeneth Ndaba in the month of women in South Africa, in close proximity to the loss of the Queen of soul Ms Aretha Franklin is a reminder that our work is not done. These feminist icons in arts, both so different yet united in the belief that equality could be attained through a meritorious system that did away with prejudice. Legislatively, this was attained in their time but in the minds of those who struggled to will themselves into the new order- segregation, subjugation and oppression continued with a particular flavour for misogyny!

When she belted out RESPECT, you scarcely recalled that it was in fact men who had not only sung that song previously but you forgot that it was written by Otis Redding, a man! A brand of feminism so revolutionary at the time only Aretha Franklin could take his words and turn them into an anthem for women across the world.

The ability of the arts to unite us but also to rally us behind an idea is precisely why I wish to borrow from these newly departed icons this Motswako season. May their passing not be in vain. May we use their championship of sacred rights for the betterment of humanity.

The heritage sector contributes a great deal to the community. It is time we use this platform to dialogue with all role players on how the benefits can be amplified and importantly, how they can be passed on to the community.

We are thrilled to have the partnership with KZN, the  department of economic development, the city of Thekwini, the National Lotteries Council, Lancôme and UNICEF as well as Graham Beck Enterprises. These partnerships allow us to give back as we ourselves seek areas of growth for the programme.

We are grateful for these strategic alliances and look forward to shattering more glass ceilings together.

I wish to also thank my fellow judges Vika, Bandile and Clive under the stellar stewardship of Ms Shado Twala.

I trust you have enjoyed two days of growth celebrating the spirit of Mama Albertina Sisulu with all our speakers.

Pham Buli ngegama lamakhosikazi Mzansi Afrika.

 

Lindiwe Carol Bouwer