Mon | May 22, 2017

20 years of diplomatic ties

Published:Friday | September 12, 2014 | 9:00 AM
Justine Henzell (left) and Major General Antony Anderson get a warm reception from South African High Commissioner Mathu Joyini. photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Honorary consul to Norway, Grantley Stephenson, and wife, Judith (left), are greeted by South African High Commissioner Mathu Joyini upon arrival.
From left: Wife of Japanese ambassador to Jamaica, Sayoko Takase, pauses with the Indian ambassador's wife, Prem Lata Singh, to give our camera lens a minute.
From left: Helene Hagen-Larsen, wife of the Argentinian ambassador; Alvine Valor, from the Panamanian embassy; and attorney-at-law Andrea Bickhoff-Benjamin catch up over a glass of wine.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade A.J. Nicholson in conversation with South African High Commissioner Mathu Joyini. Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Roseanna Wollaston (left) and Candace Bailey-James pose for our camera. ties
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Jody-Anne Lawrence, Lifestyle Reporter

Just in April, we celebrated South Africa's 20th year of freedom in fine style. Five months later, it was time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between both countries, and Jamaicans came out in full support. Entertainers such as Bunny Wailer and Queen Ifrica, as well as diplomats and political figures, came out to share in the celebration.

High Commissioner Mathu Joyini and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade A.J. Nicholson both agreed that both countries have been in alliance long before the formalities on September 9, 1994.

"Long before the inception of your own democracy and independence, you raised your voices in opposition to the tyranny that our country was forced to endure. You stood firm where others crumbled. You rallied, sang, prayed and fought for our freedom," Joyini said about the relationship. She continued, "Nelson Mandela became your father, brother and icon in much the same way that Marcus Garvey, Norman Manley, Michael Manley, P.J. Patterson and Edward Seaga became our own. So this year, we celebrate far more than just 20 years of freedom with the people of Jamaica. We celebrate generations of support, brotherhood, sisterhood and solidarity with you."

MORE TO BE DONE

She was proud to mention the growth that South Africa achieved over the past 20 years while admitting that there is still much more to do.

Taking the baton from Joyini, Nicholson complimented the growth of the country and, like her, he expects that this relationship will be one that will continue throughout the years.

The formalities came to a close with Bongo Herman taking the audience back to the roots of reggae music - and his drums were the perfect instrument, no need for auto-tune. It was real authentic Jamaican music that the guests enjoyed with fine wine under the stars.