Taliep Petersen, one of South Africa’s most renowned singers, composers and directors who tragically died in December 2006, has been posthumously honoured by The Naledi Theatre Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award was presented by his friend and creative partner of 20 years, David Kramer. Mr Petersen’s youngest daughter, Fatiema and her big sister, Natasha received the award from Mr Kramer.
Mr Petersen’s memory lives on through his music and his many acts of kindness. He collaborated with Mr Kramer, bringing such memorable productions as District Six: The Musical, Kat and the Kings, Ghoema, and Crooners to the stage. His family of proud of the lifetime achievement recognition.
Mr Petersen’s eldest daughter, Jawaahier Petersen, said: “One of our greatest fears has always been that he will be forgotten and that with each passing year, people will forget his contribution to the arts and to the history of this country. Every award or acknowledgement of this nature eases that fear and gives us another reason to be proud of the life he led and the legacy we inherited.”
Jawaahier said it has been a great challenge for the family to move on after his death.
“The unexpected and tragic nature of his ending, further complicates the bereavement process and it brings with it anger, intense sadness and deep despair that was exacerbated by the very public trial that followed.”
“Thankfully, in the almost decade that has passed, we have been able to celebrate him, laugh in his memory, smile at the thought of him and joke about what he would have said or done at our weddings, graduations, and births of our children. Each milestone presents its own pain but I am incredibly proud of my siblings for our resilience and courage to remain strong, even when the world had moved on and we were left to fend for ourselves.”
She said we must never think that any person is exempt from hardship.
“Our father lived a very private, but high-profile life and the tragedy of his murder struck us all. Human pain is not limited to any particular group of people. It also might sound clichéd, but one should never underestimate one’s strength until being strong is the only option you have.
“Grief is a process that is not linear, nor does it come with deadlines. Allow it to unfold as it should.”
* The Naledi Theatre Awards has been in existence for 12 years and are recognised as the premiere awards event on the Gauteng theatre calendar. Its mission is to recognise and reward excellence in the performing arts, to raise the profile of live theatre and to create awareness of the abundant talent alive and well on South African stages.
The Naledi Theatre Awards has honoured over 60 lifetime achievers including veteran artists, technicians, and administrators who have dedicated their lives to South African theatre, and also pays tribute to people in the arts who have taken their final bows during the year under review.