Crowns, Knighthoods & Knock-outs

If winning was a country, it would be South Africa right now!
How about these deserved accolades, awards and reasons to celebrate, showing that hope is alive and local talent is prodigious.

The nation is celebrating golden-voiced Pretty Yende receiving an Italian knighthood, Zozibini Tunzi being crowned Miss Universe 2019 and comedian Trevor Noah being nominated for a Grammy, to say nothing of his knock-out Madison Square Garden record-breaker.

The SA-born international opera star was awarded”The Order of the Star of Italy.” The accolade, which is listed as an order of knighthood, is given to those who have built extraordinary relations between Italy and other countries. Pretty is the youngest South African ever awarded this prestigious decoration.

Italian ambassador Emanuele Pollio made an amazing speech in which he called Pretty both a daughter of South Africa and of Italy; and joked that she could steal his job because she has been “an extraordinary ambassador of the Italian culture in South Africa”.
See here for her rise to fame and glimpses of her operatic career.

Pretty Yende

South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi who was crowned Miss Universe 2019, is a 26-year-old gender violence activist forced to abandon her studies for a year because of her family’s economic difficulties, though her modeling work allowed her to continue her education, studiying public relations at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

When asked during Sunday’s contest what it is most important to teach young girls today, Tunzi said leadership, unleashing a standing ovation at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, which also gave SA its second title in three years in this pageant.

She said “I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me — with my kind of skin and my kind of hair — was never considered to be beautiful,” she said in her last response. “I think it is time that that stops today. I want children to look at me and see my face and I want them to see their faces reflected in mine.”

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah has scooped a prestigious Grammy nomination for Son of Patricia, currently available on Netflix.

The comedian and US television host has been nominated for the best comedy album at the 62nd Grammy Awards, taking place on January 26 in Los Angeles, and he is up against the likes of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and comedian Dave Chappelle.

The South African comedy darling also just made history by breaking a record at the famous Madison Square Garden when he became the first African comedian to sell out the arena in New York.
Watch this space!

Acknowledgments: edition.cnn.com; www.timeslive.co.za

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