Rap, not politics, is in OR Tambo Jnr’s future

2012-04-28 17:43

It was like bestowing the honour on the grandfather himself, President Jacob Zuma told Oliver Tambo Junior.

The confident 13-year-old, who shares a birthday on October 27 with his late grandfather, walked on to the stage at the presidential guest house on Friday night to receive the Order of Mapungubwe in Platinum – one of the highest honours to be bestowed on Friday night – on behalf of former ANC president OR Tambo.

OR Junior is the son of TV personality Dali Tambo. He charmed the small audience gathered there, saluting them by raising his clenched fist as he received the award.

Afterwards, Tambo Junior told City Press: “I really want to be like my grandpa.

“He was a great man. He wanted democracy and freedom for black, white and coloured (people).” But unlike his grandfather, the young man sees a future for himself as a rapper.

Tambo Senior – the longest-serving ANC president from 1967 to 1991 – was one of seven former ANC presidents to receive national Orders in a year that the ANC celebrates its centenary.

The others were Albert Luthuli, AB Xuma, James Moroka, Sefako Makgatho, Zaccheus Mahabane and Josiah Gumede.

Its first president, Pixley Seme, received an Order in 2006, and John Dube and Nelson Mandela were among the party’s former presidents to also receive the illustrious awards.

Former ANC Youth League president and controversial firebrand Peter Mokaba was also honoured this year, and former US president Edward “Ted” Kennedy was honoured for fighting apartheid.

On Friday Neil Sharrocks, who rescued 44 children from drowning after the Knysna bus disaster last year, as well as Michael Janse van Rensburg, who died aged 19 while rescuing a drowning boy, received the Order of Mendi for bravery.

Musician Johnny Clegg, Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe, former rugby player Cheeky Watson, pilot Selwyn “Scully” Levin and pioneering researcher in photonics Dr Patience Mthunzi were among the other recipients.

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