President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
His Excellency the President was born on 12 April 1942. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1958 and became an active member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on Robben Island (1963) and, after his release, was instrumental in the re-establishment of ANC underground structures in the then Natal, now KwaZulu-Natal (KZN – 1974 – 1975).President Zuma was one of the first ANC leaders to return to South Africa to begin the process of negotiation, following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990. He was elected National Chairperson of the ANC and Chairperson of the ANC in KZN (December 1994). He served as executive Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa between 17 June 1999 and 22 June 2005.President Zuma became Deputy President of the ANC in 1997 and President of the ANC in 2007. He became president of the Republic of South African in 2009.
Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile
Minister Mashatile was born on 21 October 1961 and attended school at Alexandra High in Gauteng.He was a founding member of the Alexandra Youth Congress in 1983 and a co-founder of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO). He participated in and led many United Democratic Front (UDF) campaigns, including Million Signature Campaign, the rent boycott and the campaign to unban the ANC.During Apartheid minister Mashatile was arrested and held for almost four years without trial, and during that period went on hunger strike for 18 days as part of a nationwide hunger strike protest.Minister Mashatile was elected as ANC Chairperson of Gauteng in 2007 and has served under both President Nelson Mandela and President Thabo Mbeki. He became Premier of Gauteng in 2009, and Minister of Arts and Culture in 2010.
Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokonyane
Premier Mokonyane was born on 28 June 1963. She received training in Local Government, Planning Management, and Community Development in Sweden. She also studied leadership and governance at Harvard University in the United States of America.She participated actively in the struggle against apartheid from the age of 15. She was a founding member of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS).Premier Mokonyane is Deputy Chairperson of the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL). She championed the process that led to Sterkfontein being awarded the status of a World Heritage Site. She has been Premier of the Gauteng Province since 6 May 2009.
National Poet Laureate, Professor Keorapetse KgositsileKeorapetse Kgositsile was born on September 19, 1938 in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1961 professor Kgositsile was one of the first young members of the African National Congress (ANC) who were instructed to leave the country by the leadership of the national liberation movement.
After a year in Tanzania, where he worked on the Spearhead Magazine as Frene Jinwalla’s editorial assistant, professor Kgositsile got a scholarship to study Literature and Creative Writing in the United States.
Since his first post at Sarah Lawrence College in New York in 1969, he taught Literature and Creative Writing at a number of universities in the United States and on the African continent, including the University of Denver, Wayne State University, New School for Social Research, University of California at Los Angeles and the universities of Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Fort Hare.
Professor Kgositsile is one of the most internationally acclaimed and widely published South African poets. His poetry collections include My Name is Afrika,Heartprints, To the Bitter End, If I Could Sing, This Way I Salute You.