2001• Performing Arts Award

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Sibongile Khumalo, the recipient of this years Performing Arts Award, has enchanted diverse audiences all over South Africa and internationally with her soulful and dynamic musical talents, ranging from traditional South African sounds to jazzy melodies.

A multifaceted performer, Sibongile symbolizes different musical styles to different people. To lovers of jazz she is the personification of jazz and blues. To those who love opera her smooth soprano or alto tones are enchanting. And those who like groovy, outdoor fun, will travel miles to attend a festival where she is featured.

Sibongile’s immense musical capacity launched her into the limelight when she won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award at the Grahamstown Festival in 1993. She has since performed with numerous celebrated groups and artists and has graced a variety of honoured occasions, amongst them President Nelson Mandela’s 75th Birthday and 1994 inauguration. She also led the South African national anthem at the World Cup rugby finals in 1995.

Her versatile career to date includes her debut album, Ancient Evenings, a magical journey through the rich tapestry of South African music culture.

More recently, her third CD Immortal Secrets was released in May 2000 to critical acclaim. Also included in her resumé are her well-reviewed operatic debut as Carmen (Bizet) in Durban; CD and televison recordings of Mzilikazi Khumalo’s uShaka ka Senzangakhona; performing at the Two Nations Celebrate concert honouring President Mandela (Royal Albert Hall, London); and the SAA / Sibongile Khumalo national tour.

During April 1997, Sibongile was the mezzo-soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem under the baton of Sir David Willcocks, during the South African tour of the London Bach Choir, and that same year also performed Mahler with the National Symphony Orchestra in Johannesburg.

Sibongile holds music degrees from the University of Zululand (B.A.Mus.) And Wits University (B.A. Hons), as well as a Higher Diploma in Personnel Management (Wits).

She has taught and researched music at the University of Zululand, FUBA Academy and at the Madimba Institute of African Music, as well as acting in several musicals which toured Europe and the United States.

Sibongile also has an active interest in the documentation and development of South African music.

She has conceived and co-produced a retrospective of South African jazz and, working with other African women, toured Europe in 1998 in Women of Africa to rave reviews. And she has collaborated with Hugh Masekela on a radio program on South African music, old and new.

South African Women for Women is proud to recognize Sibongile Khumalo for her music and her performing artistry, which shares the spice, wisdom, and wealth of experience inherited from her family and her community.