Veteran gospel singer Rebecca Malope is one of the carefully selected dignitaries in line to receive the prestigious National Orders this year.
What are the National Orders?
Director-General of the Presidency and Chancellor of the National Orders Phindile Baleni explained, in a statement, that this is South Africa’s most-coveted and highly esteemed award.
“National Orders are the highest awards that our country bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and have made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans,” she said.
There are five types of National Orders, namely:
- The Order of Mendi recognises South African citizens who have performed acts of bravery
- The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport
- The Order of Baobab recognises South African citizens who have contributed to community service, business and economy, science, medicine and technological innovation
- The Order of Luthuli recognises South African citizens who have contributed to the struggle for democracy, nation-building, building democracy and human rights, justice and peace as well as for the resolution of conflict.
- The Order of the Companions of OR Tambo recognises eminent foreign nationals for friendship shown to South Africa. It is therefore an Order of peace, cooperation and active expression of solidarity and support.
The ceremony will be held on Thursday 18 November 2021.
Rebecca Malope to be bestowed with ‘Order of Ikhamanga’
One of the key recipients of this year’s National Orders is Malope, who will be recognised “for her distinguished contribution to South African music.”
“Her unique voice brings joy and comfort to many through meaningful gospel music,” the Presidency wrote.
Malope is revered as the African queen of gospel, and rightly so. Her catalogue alone, which has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, speaks for itself.
With more than three decades in the music industry, Malope remains a beacon of inspiration for songstresses she paved a way for.
“We congratulate the recipients and urge all South Africans to join us in celebrating these exceptional South Africans and distinguished friends of South Africa,” Baleni said.