Rashid Lombard, Founder and CEO of espAfrika, has been awarded the Order of Ikhamanga: Silver by State President Jacob Zuma. This award is made to South Africans who have excelled in the areas of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sports. In this instance it recognises the enormous contribution made by Rashid Lombard to arts and culture development in South Africa.
Lombard is accredited for the instrumental role he played in bringing the North Sea Jazz Festival to South Africa in 2000. This evolved into what has become known as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering”, the wildly popular Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF).
Lombard’s involvement in the arts precedes the CTIJF however. As a political photojournalist and cultural activist in the anti-apartheid movement in the 70’s and 80’s, Lombard is rooted in the growth of the arts and culture scene in the Cape and further afield. This involvement has been recognised through a string of awards, including the prestigious Order of the Disa Award in 2004, which acknowledged his noteworthy contribution to arts and culture in the Western Cape.
Lombard has diligently applied his knowledge and expertise to building the Cape Town International Jazz Festival into one of the most successful events in the world. Now sold out months before the time, the festival was ranked 4th internationally by Melodytrip, an independent festival survey and is eagerly awaited each year by serious music and jazz lovers across South Africa.
By the bestowing of the Ikhamanga Award, Lombard’s involvement and commitment to the arts and South Africa is being recognised at the highest level. Accepting the award with humility and his usual no-nonsense approach to life, Lombard said, “I am overwhelmed by the honour accorded to me by the Ikhamanga Award. I shall use it to continue to make my contribution as I have always done, to the development of the arts and my country. This is what drives me and gives purpose to my life. I thank the State President. I also thank all those who have been part of this journey and who made it possible for me to receive this honour.”
Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of the Sekunjalo Investment Group, extended his congratulations, “This award is well deserved. We are very proud of Rashid Lombard, one of our senior executives as the CEO of Sekunjalo subsidiary, espAfrika, for this wonderful achievement.”