Gregory Maqoma receives French accolade


Artsvark Presser

Artsvark Presser is directly connected to the South African Arts Community, and spits out press releases and other news as passed on by community members.
Artsvark Presser
Gregory Maqoma
Gregory Maqoma

The Market Theatre Foundation congratulates Gregory Maqoma on being honoured with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) Award conferred on him by Ambassador of France, Christophe Fernaud, yesterday at the official residence of the Ambassador.

“Gregory Maqoma is more than just an artist. He is an activist for social justice and a respected public intellectual. He is a firm believer in building legacy programmes in the creative industries. Through the Vuyani Dance Theatre, he has played a pivotal role in catapulting the careers of so many dancers, choreographers and designers in the creative industries. He fully deserves the recognition that the Embassy of France has conferred on him,” said Ismail Mahomed, CEO of the Market Theatre Foundation.

- Advertisement -
FNB Dance Umbrella.
Prog. 22. University of Johannesburg Arts Centre.
‘ Beautiful Me’ choreographed and performed by Gregory Vuyani
Photograph : John Hogg.

The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize renowned artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out three times annually under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communication. The purpose of this prestigious award is to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the arts and/ or literature, and have influenced the growth of these disciplines.

“Gregory Maqoma is most deserving of this accolade. His contribution to the dance fraternity has been immense,” said Zama Buthelezi, the Market Theatre Foundation’s Branding & Communications Manager as she prepares her marketing portfolio for Maqoma’s latest production, Cion, which will premiere at the Market Theatre later this month.

Multi-award winning and internationally celebrated choreographer Gregory Maqoma’s Cion is the Market Theatre’s headliner act to celebrate Africa Month at the Market Theatre this May. In Cion, Maqoma will bring author Zakes Mda’s mourner, Toloki, to life on stage. Mda attained global renown with Ways of Dying (1995), his seminal first novel that featured the unforgettable character Toloki, a professional mourner at township funerals during South Africa’s transition to democracy. Mda’s writing is entrenched in African values, ethics and offers a broader view of South Africa as a complex animal with unique cultures.

In Cion, the follow-up to Ways of Dying, Mda revisits Toloki a decade later. Like the author himself, the character is now living in the United States, where Toloki uncovers the story of runaway slaves who were the ancestors of an impoverished Southern family.

The Market Theatre Foundation also extends its congratulations to Dance Umbrella’s artistic director, Georgina Thomson. She was awarded the Offisier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Arts & Literature) Award.

Cion will be performed at the Market Theatre from 25 May to 4 June 2017. Bookings can be made online at


Leave a Reply