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NADARAJA AND PEACOCK AWARDS (article first published : 2000-11-22)

In a glittering ceremony held in the City Hall recently, the Indian Academy of South Africa paid tribute to personalities who have made a major contribution to the Indian community or to those who have attained a high level of achievement.

Special guests were His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Dr C J Saunders (ex Chairman of The Tongaat Group), the latter providing an interesting and thought-provoking speech about the relationship between his family and the Indian community throughout the history of the sugar industry. Also present were National Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Dr Ben Ngubane, KZN Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Mr Narend Singh and Durban’s Metro Council Mayor Cllr Obed Mlaba.

This year’s Nadaraja and Golden Peacock Awards ceremony celebrated the anniversary of three milestones in the history of the Indian Community in South Africa: 140 years ago the first Indians arrived in South Africa; the 40th anniversary of the Indian Academy of SA, and the 40th anniversary of the Indian Annual SA.

On an attractive set with its film motif, performers enacted the arrivals of the first Indians in South Africa. Projected onto a screen were images of the early days of their lives working in the sugar industry. Also presented were congratulatory comments from high level arts personalities, in particular an impassioned speech by Professor Elizabeth Sneddon congratulating Dr TP Naidoo, director of the Indian Academy, for his vision, foresight and tenacity in ensuring the survival of the culture of the Indian community.

Every second year, The Indian Academy of South Africa honours those who have made a major contribution towards the promotion, preservation and propagation of Indian culture through the Nadaraja Awards.

2001 recipients of the Nadaraja Awards were Ramjaguth Maharaj (chairman of the Indian Academy); Hindu priest and religious representative Tulsiram Satyanand (TS) Maharaj; father of integrated sport RK Naidoo; Director of Education, Northern Areas, Dr GK Nair, and the founder of Chatsworth Regional Hospice Dayanandan Govinsamy Pillay.

The Indian Academy launched the Golden Peacock Achiever Award in 1990 to acknowledge the impact made by younger people in other walks of life. This is presented to those in commerce, industry, banking, the arts and other skills.

Recipients of the 2000 awards are Koosum Kalyan (General Manager Corporate Affairs: Shell South Africa); Nantha Moodley (SA General Manager: Castle Wine and EK Green); Sammy Naidoo (founder On-Time Printers, Gauteng); hairstylist extraordinaire Shirley Naidoo; Sivalingam Perumal (Thomas) Naidoo (provincial director KZN Standard Bank of SA Retail Network Distribution); Anshumali Padayachee (deputy vice chancellor - Academics - ML Sultan Technikon); Sulosh Pillay (PR executive at SAB), and Laljith Sunker Singh (chief executive and chairman of King Zwelithini’s Foundation for Community Development).

This year, the Indian Academy introduced the Golden Peacock Corporate Achiever Award and this went to Pakco (Pty) Limited.

Rotary Club of Reservoir Hills presented The Paul Harris Fellowship Awards to His Majesty, King Goodwill Zwelithini, Mr Lal Singh, Mr Sammy Naidoo and Dr TP Naidoo (director of the Indian Academy).




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