- Nirmala Govender has bagged a top global honour as she was named among 25 inspiring global Tamil cultural women
- The Durban mother has been recognised for her contribution to promoting Tamil culture and tradition
- At 57, Nirmala recounts how she received a call from the United Kingdom to honour her work in promoting Tamil and thought it was just a prank
A Durban-based school administrator, Nirmala Govender, has been awarded as one of 25 Inspiring Global Tamil Cultural Women for a role in promoting the Tamil language.
Apart from the contribution in promoting the music, she has also been noticed for her participation in uplifting the South Indian culture and tradition.
Govender’s award was handed to her by the Vaureal Tamil Cultural Association (Culturelle Des Tamouls) in France in association with British Tamil Radio and some of the notable recipients were from Australia, Canada, Europe, India, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
According to IOL, the 57-year-old is based in Queensburgh, Durban and was given her certificate of achievement endorsed by Happy Guptan, the Consul of Community Affairs at the Consulate General of India in Birmingham.
Working as a school administrator at King Shaka High in uMlazi, Govender uses her spare time to teach other students the Tamil - and Telegu - language and culture.
She said, as quoted by IOL:
“My late mother was a Tamil teacher and it was natural that I participated in all cultural activities. From then onwards, there was no turning back. I became a singer and performed mostly in temples. This is something that brings me much joy.
“I also recorded my music in India. I performed in many venues in South Africa as well as in India, Mauritius and Malaysia.”
It is also reported that the proud administrator travelled to India in 2005 to study music and recounts receiving a call from the UK. According to United Nations, Tamil was declared as the oldest classical language by the and Tamilians should be proud of this. She added:
“Initially, I thought someone was playing a prank on me but later, I realised it was a legitimate call when they outlined all the work I did.
“They informed me that I was being recognised for the work I was doing as a woman in the Indian Diaspora by promoting the Tamil language and culture in a foreign country far away from the motherland, India.
"Our forefathers, who came from India in 1860, brought with them the necessary ingredients to preserve the Tamil language and culture.
“In South Africa, organisations, like the Natal Tamil Vedic Society and the Merebank Tamil School Society, are doing remarkable work in continuing with the efforts of our forefathers by promoting the language and culture.
“We need to take advantage of the opportunities and platforms that have been created and encourage the youth to get involved.”
In releated news, Briefly.co.za reported on talented DJ Zinhle, who recently received the Forbes Woman Africa Entertainer Award.
Forbes held an event to celebrate notable African women in various fields in KwaZulu-Natal this Friday, hosted by Pabi Moloi.
DJ Zinhle accepted her award with her daughter Kairo Owethu Forbes and has been flooded with messages from fans who couldn't be happier for the Umlilo artist.
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