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Outstanding South Africans to be honoured at the 2021 Calabash Awards

Four distinguished South Africans will receive the Unisa Chancellor’s Calabash Award on Friday, 26 November 2021 in Johannesburg. Unisa Chancellor Thabo Mbeki will be presenting these awards, which acknowledge outstanding South Africans and Unisa alumni who have made or are making a contribution to the transformation and development of South Africa.

Award recipients from left to right: Deshnee Achary, Prof Salim Abdool Karim, Denise Rosemary Nicholson and Premier Kaobitsa Bushy Maape.

The Public Servant Award will be presented to Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who is an infectious diseases epidemiologist and continues to work in the areas of HIV prevention and treatment. He is well known for his previous role as Co-Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and continues to serve as a member of the Africa Task Force for Coronavirus as well as the Lancet Commission on COVID-19.

Deshnee Achary is a medical scientist for Pfizer Vaccines and is involved in the development of pipeline vaccines. She will receive the Outstanding Alumna Award, which acknowledges an outstanding alumna who has excelled in their area of expertise and has made a significant contribution to our society.

The Outstanding Educator Award will be presented to Denise Rosemary Nicholson for making strides in the library and intellectual property worlds. She has advocated for more balanced copyright laws in South Africa and other developing countries. The award acknowledges the contribution of any outstanding educator who has excelled in or advanced teaching, learning, skills development and/or research in their area of expertise. 

Kaobitsa Bushy Maape is currently the Premier of the North West Province and will receive the Unisa Robben Island Award. The award is named after Robben Island, given the significant role of the island in South Africa’s political history. The award recognises the role of political prisoners/activists who made immense sacrifices for the liberation of South Africa. 

Over 25 individuals have been recognised through these awards for contributing significantly to shaping futures in the service of humanity. Over and above this, the Chancellor’s Bursary Fund has benefited over seven master’s and six doctoral degree students to enrol across the different colleges and disciplines as part of building the next generation of academics, particularly Africans and women.

The event will be attended by captains of industry and stakeholders from different organisations in order to fundraise study fees and form partnerships that will define tomorrow.

* Submitted by the Unisa Foundation

Publish date: 2021-11-24 00:00:00.0