On Sunday 27 April 2014, South Africa’s Freedom Day, a number of South African nationals and eminent foreign nationals will be awarded National Orders by President Jacob Zuma. The orders will be bestowed at an investiture ceremony, held annually on Freedom Day. The Order of Ikhamanga recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport. This year two names instantly recognisable in South African jazz circles will receive this honour. Rashid Lombard, CEO of espAFRIKA the company that organises the annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the late jazz bassist Victor Ntoni will receive this order in silver.
Political photojournalist and jazz photographer Rashid Lombard was born in Port Elizabeth in 1951. He has worked for the BBC, AFP and NBC, began his career as an industrial photographer for the construction company Murray and Roberts before entering the world of photojournalism where he photographed the rise of South Africa’s democratic movement. Lombard is also known for his photography of exiled musical icons Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Abdullah Ibrahim.
In the 1990’s Lombard spent time as station manager of Fine Music Radio and then programming manager of P4 Smooth Jazz Radio, before he approached the director of the North Sea Jazz Festival about starting a local festival in Cape Town. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is now in its 14th year.
Victor Ntoni was born in Langa outside Cape Town, and died on 28 January 2013 of a heart attack. Ntoni was a self-taught bassist who joined the Dollar Brand Trio as a teenager, he was accepted into the Berkley School of Music in 1976. Ntoni spent many years of his life involved in music tuition especially serving the underprivileged black communities of South Africa. The National Heritage Council funded ‘South African Songbook – SA Folklore Music’ was scored and arranged by Victor Ntoni in October 2012 just months before his death at age 65.
Other recipients of the Order of Ikhamanga this year will include Mokgadi Caster Semenya, Cameron van der Burgh, Lindiwe Mabuza, Fanie van der Merwe, Zanemvula Kizito Gatyeni “Zakes” Mda, Sandra Prinsloo, Lucas Sithole and Ephraim Matsilele “Jomo” Sono.