Every year, the awards select a featured artist and usually this artist is involved in the creation of an award trophy. This year however, Basa elected to honour the legacy of South African dance legend Gregory Maqoma who will instead perform one of his last ever performances on the evening of the awards to be held at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art in Cape Town on 13 October 2023.
Says Basa CEO, Ashraf Johaardien, “Gregory Maqoma stands out as an extraordinary South African success story because he has artfully navigated the blending of creative clarity and exemplary talent with a sharp business acumen and a strong sense of value for his contribution as an artist. This lucidity has taken him to global stages and seen him take a defining leadership role, one he intends to build on after he retires from stage. He credits collaboration as a core principle and the value that has largely shaped his career. It is this same value that is the foundation of the work we do at Basa.” Maqoma adds, “Partnership is alignment; it’s about working together to achieve similar goals. I have had the opportunity to partner with organisations that have helped to shape and sustain my career.”
The Basa Awards recognise business and arts partnerships that create mutual benefit. From long standing partnerships like this year’s Heineken Beverages Long Term Partnership Award finalist ATKV & Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK), to innovative projects like 2023 finalist E-Squared Investments & Sunshine Cinema for the Spark Impact Program (Samsung Innovation Award finalist). 48 finalists (24 partnerships) are in the running for the announcement of the overall winners of the 26th Basa Awards. Awards are recognised in categories, each one sponsored by an organisation or business that advocates for the arts.
In addition to Gregory Maqoma, guests will be treated to performances by jazz musician Mandla Mlangeni and electric violinist Kirsty Bows.
Maqoma will head directly to Johannesburg after the Basa Awards for the GM50 Legacy Programme which will take place at the Joburg Theatre on 14 and 15 October 2023. The weekend’s event is presented by Gregory Maqoma Industries and Vuyani Dance Theatre in Collaboration with Joburg Theatre, Arts Alive International Festival, City of Johannesburg Arts, Culture and Heritage and Jacana Media as a celebration of Maqoma’s remarkable career on the occasion of his 50th birthday. Click here for more information about the programme and tickets.
Gregory Vuyani Maqoma became interested in dance in the late 1980s as a means to escape the political tensions growing in Soweto, South Africa, where he was born. He started his formal dance training in 1990 at Moving into Dance, where he became the Associate Artistic Director in 2002.
He founded Vuyani Dance Theatre (VDT) in 1999 while undertaking a scholarship at the Performing Arts Research and Training School (PARTS) in Belgium, under the direction of Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher, and director.
Greg has received numerous awards, among these the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for dance in 2002; the Tunkie Award for Leadership in Dance (2012); New York City’s premier dance award, the ‘Bessie’, for Exit/Exist for original music composition (2014); and the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Artes et des Lettres (Knight of the Arts & Literature) Award in 2017 from the French government. International Dance Day author in 2020.
In 2022 he was awarded The Simon Nkoli Feather Award and 2023 he received The Artfluence Human Rights Champion in recognition of his remarkable career, courage, and commitment to social justice.
The Annual Basa Awards recognise support of and partnerships with the arts, particularly from the private sector. It is Basa’s flagship event and assists in promoting mutually beneficial, equitable and sustainable partnerships with the arts. The awards categories encompass all creative mediums and a wide spectrum of partnerships. In addition, special awards are made annually at the discretion of the Basa Board of Directors to celebrate remarkable contributions by individuals, organisations and businesses.