Six South Africans have been awarded gold medals by the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.
Handing over the medals at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town‚ US consul-general Virginia Blaser said: “It makes me extraordinarily proud to see an American institution such as the Kennedy Center reach out across the globe to recognise talented artists who play such an important role in society.”
The South Africans honoured were Basil Jones and Adrian Kohler‚ founders of the Handspring Puppet Company; actor‚ director and playwright John Kani; singer Sibongile Khumalo; author‚ poet‚ playwright‚ director‚ performer and storyteller Gcina Mhlophe; and jazz musician McCoy Mrubata.
They join the likes of actors Michael Caine and Judi Dench‚ and singers Placido Domingo and Van Morrison‚ who have been awarded the gold medals in recognition of extraordinary achievement in the arts at Kennedy Center international summits since 2005.
The awards began with a performance by Handspring Puppet Company and Cape Town Opera. “What a fantastic display of South Africa’s rich talent‚” said Blaser.