“On this Mandela Day, the ACDP mourns the lives of two extraordinary South Africans who enthralled local and international audiences with their emotive African performances,” said ACDP Marie Sukers in a media release today.
She said: “We recognise the contributing efforts made by Johnny Clegg and Nomhle Nkonyeni, respectively, to our performing arts industry and society as a whole.
“It is fitting for us to celebrate the lives of these two people.
“Johnny Clegg represented what Nelson Mandela stood for. He transcended racial and cultural divides and embraced not only what we are as human beings, but who we are as an African people.
“Mamma Nomhle embodied the spirit of persistence in overcoming in spite of adversity. She did so in a time when it was not the norm for a black woman to perform on theatre stages. Nomhle became iconic to us as South Africans because she lived out art in such a way that it reflected the faces of our people. She, without any doubt, paved the way forward for young black women to tell our unique African stories on world stages – today, and in the years that lie before us.
“For me personally, Mandela Day is about us recognising our potential and coming into the fullness of who and what we are meant to be as Africans, celebrating who God had made us to be, and transcending divides along the lines of poverty, race, and culture — as Nelson Mandela did.
“Nelson Mandela, Johnny Clegg and Nomhle Nkonyeni are symbolic of what we as South Africans can become when we recognise and know who we are. When we do not give up on our dreams, and when we dedicate our lives to make a difference in society.”