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Authors Themba Patrick Magaisa and the Late Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane Awarded Orders of Ikhamanga

Children of ParadiseMihloti ya tinganaOrders of Ikhamanga were bestowed on acclaimed Xitsonga writer Themba Patrick Magaisa and posthumously on Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane recently.

The recipients of this year’s National Orders, South Africa’s highest honour for eminent citizens and foreign nationals awarded in recognition of a contribution to democracy and improving the lives of South Africans, were announced in April but the Presidency postponed the ceremony to mourn those killed during the xenophobic violence.

The Order of Ikhamanga recognises excellence in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. Previous recipients of the award for literature include Mandla Langa, Sindiwe Magona and Zakes Mda, whose order was bestowed last year.

The order was bestowed in Bronze on Magaisa, who is the author of a number of Xitsonga books including Mihloti ya tingana. Magaisa won South African Literary Awards (SALAs) in 2012 and 2014.

Mzamane, who passed away in 2014, was posthumously awarded the order in Silver. He is the author of a number of novels, including Children of Paradise, was the first post apartheid Vice-Chancellor of Fort Hare University, and was described by Nelson Mandela as a “visionary leader and one of South Africa’s greatest intellectuals”.

Official citations:

Themba Patrick Magaisa: For his outstanding contribution to the development of indigenous literature in South Africa. His literary work has enriched the primary and secondary education curricula in our country.

Mbulelo Vizikhungo Mzamane (Posthumous): For his excellent contribution to the development of African literature and the upliftment of African languages on the global stage.

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