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Unisa Chancellor's Awards celebrate scholarship

To date, 25 extraordinary and iconic South Africans have been recipients of the Unisa Chancellor’s Awards and all are people who have made deliberate efforts to impact, positively, the lives of others. 

Prof Firoz Cachalia (who received the Unisa Robben Island Award on behalf of Kgalema Motlanthe); Chancellor Thabo Mbeki; Prof Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi, who received the Outstanding Educator Award; Lerato Khumalo (who received the Public Servant Award on behalf of Judge Edwin Cameron); Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mandla Makhanya; and Sizwe Nxasana, who received the Outstanding Alumnus Award.

A jovial mood prevailed at the 2019 Unisa Chancellor’s Calabash Awards ceremony held in Johannesburg on Friday 1 November 2019. Dubbed the most prestigious event on the Unisa calendar, the coveted awards were presented to four outstanding South African’s who have contributed to society, its transformation and the development of South Africa.   

Unisa Principal and Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Mandla Makhanya, alluded to the fact that the awards were about celebrating and encouraging excellence and to rededicating ourselves to education. "The future is bright," he said, "even during all the challenges the society faces."

Chancellor Mbeki, Prof Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi & Prof Mandla Makhanya

The Outstanding Educator Award was presented to Prof Azwihangwisi Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi, who is attached to Unisa’s Department of Health Studies. The award acknowledges the contribution of outstanding educators who have excelled in or advanced teaching, learning, skills development and/or research in their area of expertise.   

Chancellor Mbeki, Sizwe Nxasana & Prof Mandla Makhanya

The Outstanding Alumnus Award was bestowed on Sizwe Nxasana, founder of the Sifiso Learning Group. The award acknowledges outstanding alumni who have excelled in their area of expertise and have made a significant contribution to our society. 

Chancellor Mbeki, Prof Firoz Cachalia & Prof Mandla Makhanya

The Public Servant Award was presented to Judge Edwin Cameron, former Constitutional Court judge and well-known HIV/AIDS and gay-rights activist. The award recognises South Africans who have made exceptional contributions in government structures and in consolidating constitutional democracy. The award was received on his behalf by Lerato Khumalo.

Chancellor Mbeki, Lerato Khumalo & Prof Mandla Makhanya

The Unisa Robben Island Award was presented to Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, former President of South Africa. 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 (both men and women) who sacrificed immensely during the liberation of South Africa. The award was received on his behalf by Prof Firoz Cachalia. 

Click here to read the welcome address by Prof Mandla Makhanya.

* By Busisiwe Mahlangu, Communications Coordinator, Department of Institutional Advancement 

Publish date: 2019/11/04