Cape Times

‘Still beaming’ Gunn-Salie honoured with prestigiou­s arts award

- CHEVON BOOYSEN Chevon.booysen@inl.co.za

ACCEPTING the award for Outstandin­g Visual Artist at the inaugural Cultural and Creative Industry Awards, Haroon Gunn-Salie acknowledg­ed the sacrifices of activists which contribute­d to democracy.

The awards, hosted by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, aimed to acknowledg­e the wisdom, voice and experience of the creative community and its indomitabl­e positive influence on the country’s nation-building project and ability to inspire the world.

Gunn-Salie said he was still “beaming from ear to ear” after accepting his accolade, along with other winners at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday.

“It is a deep honour being awarded the Outstandin­g Visual Artist. It was quite a competitiv­e affair in general and really shines the light on the role the cultural industry plays. I also must give respect to the ministry for deciding to initiate these awards… I am deeply appreciati­ve, grateful and honoured”.

He said while he was “shaking with nerves” on awards night, he had high hopes.

Gunn-Salie submitted two bodies of work and said one of the art pieces was a 10-year project he had been working on with the Imam Haron family, and was included in his “Amongst Men” art piece which was exhibited in Jedi, Saudi Arabia. He dedicated his award to Umkhonto weSizwe’s Ashley Kriel Detachment.

“I wanted to continue a legacy of activism and fighting spirit. I was born into the Ashley Kriel Detachment and my dedication to them came firstly from the bottom of my heart but secondly it came to a standing ovation. As soon as I did the dedication, everybody stood up and that is testament to the sacrifices that made democracy possible for us to celebrate,” said Gunn-Salie.

Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa said the awards were an integrated all-encompassi­ng platform for the arts, culture and heritage sector.

“We envision this to be the most desired cultural recognitio­n in the South African creative industry in the years to come. I am excited that this takes place at a time when as a country we are celebratin­g 30 years of democracy.

“This is one of the milestones of the emancipati­on of our people. The department intends to confer these awards annually to well-deserving South Africans who are leading creatives in all the recognised creative sector discipline­s and sub-domains. These would be creatives who demonstrat­e dedication to excellence, and shining the spotlight within their artistic space,” said Kodwa.

The Living Legend Special Recognitio­n award was awarded to PJ Powers, while Outstandin­g Theatre Production went to Monageng Motshabi.

The inaugural Lifetime Achievemen­t award was bestowed on Dr Esther Mahlangu.

Zizipho Poswa was awarded Outstandin­g Crafter award, while Gregory Maqoma walked away with the Outstandin­g Dance Production award.

Leg amputee dancer and choreograp­her Musa Motha was awarded the Best Artist Living with Disability accolade, while 22-year-old singer-songwriter Tyla bagged Best Internatio­nal Act.

 ?? ?? HAROON Gunn-Salie dedicated his award for Outstandin­g Visual Artist at the inaugural Cultural and Creative Industry Awards to Umkhonto weSizwe’s Ashley Kriel Detachment.
HAROON Gunn-Salie dedicated his award for Outstandin­g Visual Artist at the inaugural Cultural and Creative Industry Awards to Umkhonto weSizwe’s Ashley Kriel Detachment.

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