Medal for 'Witness' writer: Coan honoured for service to Zulu people

2010-04-20 00:00

WITNESS feature writer Stephen Coan has been awarded the Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Award For Service to the Zulu People, for his writing on Zulu history and culture.

Coan was given the award on Sunday following a service at the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Rorke’s Drift, the site of the battle between the British and Zulus on January 22 and 23, 1879.

The award is made annually by the British-based Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society and was launched by its chairman Adrian Greaves, who has brought hundreds of tourists to Zululand and written several books on the Anglo-Zulu War.

In 2001, Greaves was presented with a chief’s shield, knobkerrie and assegai by IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi in recognition of his services to the Zulu people. “This gave me the idea of making a similar presentation to notable people who had given their time to support the Zulu people,” says Greaves.

“When Prince Buthelezi came to David Rattray’s memorial ser­vice in London two years ago, I raised the matter with him and he agreed the time had come to inaugurate such an award.”

Coan’s award was given in recognition of his “fair and balanced reporting on Zulu history and culture over many years for The Witness”.

Other recipients of the award on Sunday were the Reverend Wilfred Mbatha, pastor of the church at Rorke’s Drift; Xolani Emmanuel Mkhize, manager of the Rorke’s Drift Zulu village; Lindani Emmanuel Zulu, principal of Shiyane High School; France Mhlungu, principal of Amoibe Combined School; Busiswe Zulu, principal of Oskarberg Primary School; Zethu Mbuli, leader of the Oskarberg Lutheran parish; and Willy Duze, a councillor with the Msinga Municipality.

Previous awards have been gi­ven to historians John Laband and Ian Knight, while posthumous awards were given to David Rattray of Fugitive’s Drift Lodge and Sir Stanley Baker, producer and star of the film Zulu. — WR.

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