Mancotywa honoured with lifetime award for heritage work

Sonwabile Mancotywa.
Sonwabile Mancotywa.
Image: LULAMILE FENI

Eastern Cape-born former SA National Heritage Council’s CEO, advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa, has been honoured with a national lifetime achievers award for his role in promoting arts and culture in the country.

In a letter to Mancotywa, the South African Traditional Music Achievements (Satma) Awards CEO Zandile Ndzimande said the founder of the award, Dumisani Goba, had awarded Mancotywa this for his important role in preserving South African heritage and culture.

Though Mancotywa, who is now the Beyond The Shadow Heritage Institute of Southern Africa founding director, could not attend the 16th annual Satma launch and nominees announcement held at the Premier Hotel in White River in Mpumalanga over the weekend, he said he was excited by the award.

I am glad to receive the lifetime achievers award.  I have been in the cultural space since 1997 as the first MEC of sports, arts & culture in Eastern Cape, and 17 years as the founding CEO of the National Heritage Council.

I dedicate this award to my late parents who taught me how to value relationships in life, hard work and dedication and through this I am honouring their legacy.

I am bringing this love of heritage to my new foundation called Beyond The Shadow Heritage Institute of Southern Africa whose patron is Professor Patrice Lumumba of Kenya,” Mancotywa said

He said that at BTS Heritage they consult with the private and public sectors to preserve African heritage.

I am excited about the partnership we are going to announce with Walter Sisulu University where the BTS will empower undergraduate students from WSU and expose them to heritage sites research field work.

“We have made a presentation to the Eastern Cape provincial government with a strategy to preserve heritage sites linked to the years of the Frontier wars. 

We must move way from this mentality of celebrations that we are so obsessed with, and develop a strategy of changing heritage sites from being abstract spaces into strategic development nodes, and empower communities to deal with unemployment through rural cultural tourism.

Sites in rural areas are not protected and therefore do not add any value to socioeconomic development; BTS aims to end this.

“It is not easy to talk to municipalities as they don’t see heritage as important,” Mancotywa said.

A total of 100 nominees were unveiled at the weekend event, with winners expected to be announced in 28 categories.

But missing in this year's calendar of the Satmas is the best electronic and print media awards, as well as the biggest and one of the most popular awards, the best radio DJ and best radio programme.

SA rapper Sjava is one of the three nominees in the Best Male Artist categories, while the Qtwins featuring DJ Tira, whose album is Gift of Love, are some of the nominees in the Best Female category.

In the radio community stations, Mthatha’s Ingwane Community Radio DJ Khangelani Ngxaki Nkosana, Ngqushwa FM DJ Jikijwa and Inkqubela FM DJ Silulami Dumza Dumezweni, are some of the Eastern Cape nominees.

SA rapper Big Zulu, after entertaining the crowd, said it was time that all South Africans embraced traditional music as it helped improved and promote indigenous Africa languages. 

The Satmas will be held on November 27. 

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