We greet you all on this 23rd anniversary of the dawn of freedom and democracy in our country.
However, we start on a sad note.
Our primary mission is to serve the people and this historic launch of the South Africa- China High Level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism is destined to do just that.
Fellow Africans lend me your ear, the Premier institution of higher learning in Gabon, Omar Bongo University has instructed me to be part of their efforts to keep memory of those sons and daughters of our continent who contributed in our efforts to deal with historical injustice alive.
Tonight before I start my talk, I want to deliver a message of appreciation from the President of Republic of South Africa, President JG Zuma to the Esteemed President Ali Bongo of the Republic of Gabon and to the Gabonese.
I am delighted to be part of this remarkable event of the Fourth Annual Ungasali Storytelling Festival hosted by the Freedom Park under the theme: “My Story, the Story of My Future”.
Fellow South Africans we have gathered here not to mourn the untimely passing of Lundi Tyamara but to celebrate his life and contribution he has made in our national effort towards nation building and social cohesion through song.
“The richest place on earth is the graveyard, because it is filled with great songs which were never sung, paintings which we have never seen, books that were never written, poetry that was never read. The graveyard is filled with great powerful men and women who never poured out their gifts and talents for the benefit of society”
Allow me to join fellow South Africans and the Arts fraternity in paying tribute to one of our Living Legends Mama Thandi Klaasen.
As we mark the 5th edition of the Mbokodo Awards, we do so with great pride and anticipation – we are proud that these awards for Women in the Arts have come so far and reached their 5th milestone. We are also in a state of anticipation as we look forward to the announcement of the winners of this year’s awards.
As we gather here as leaders and heritage practitioners from all over the world, I am reminded of the importance and necessity of inspired and committed leadership, in addressing the problems of the world as well as the protection and promotion of the cultural heritage of the world.