Abdullah Ibrahim awarded top honour by Japanese government

Abdullah Ibrahim (Photo: Getty Images)
Abdullah Ibrahim (Photo: Getty Images)

South African pianist, Abdullah Ibrahim, has just received a top honour from the Japanese government.

The world-renowned pianist has been awarded the Japan 2020 Spring Imperial Decoration, reports The Star.

"Ibrahim will receive The Order of the Rising Sun in recognition of his lifetime achievement in emancipating the people of South Africa and the world through his music, as well as his contribution to Japan-South African friendship through his works, performances and profound understanding of Japanese culture and spirituality," the Japanese embassy said in a statement.

Abdullah started playing the piano when he was just 15 years old. Now, as he becomes one of several recipients this year of the prestigious award at 85 years old, he has a lifetime of work to look back on – much of which touched South Africans during the apartheid struggle.

The leading Cape Jazz figure’s piece, Mannenberg, became an anti-apartheid anthem - an informal national anthem of sorts to the people of South Africa. 

LISTEN TO MANNENBERG HERE:

Compiled by Bashiera Parker (Sources: The Star, Cape Argus)