The winners in each category received a unique artwork that was created by Musa E Zulu, creative director of his company, Valhalla Arts.
After achieving an Honours degree in Sociology at the University of Natal (1993), Zulu lectured in the Faculty of Humanities before moving to the corporate world as human resources manager. Zulu was fast climbing the career ladder when his life took unexpected turn. In 1995, when he was 23 years old, following injuries resulting from a car accident, Zulu became paralysed and wheelchair bound.
Consequently, he found himself faced with one of the hardest challenges that life can bring – disability. However, through applying his personal philosophy of embracing change, Zulu not only found a way to cope with his new life, but to inspire others as well. He is now a published author, an award-winning entrepreneur, international artist, celebrated motivational speaker and prominent disability activist in South Africa.
Zulu is the author of four books: ‘The Language of Me’ (UKZN Press; 2004), ‘Wheels on the Soul of my Shoes’ (Nutrend Publishers; 2008), ‘Tributes: The Story’ (Valhalla Arts; 2012) and ‘Mastering the art of self-motivation: Tapping the Inner You!’ (Valhalla Arts; 2017).
Zulu launched his latest book titled ‘I AM ART: The 40th Anniversary Essay’ in KwaZulu- Natal on 20 April 2021. This book celebrates the four decades (1979 - 2019) in which he has lived as an artist, together with reflecting on the 25 years (1995 - 2020) that he has spent in his wheelchair.
In commenting on his involvement in the Standard Bank KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Awards 2021, Zulu said: “I would like to congratulate and thank all the finalists for allowing me the pleasure to interpret their life and work achievements in the best way I ever could – in my art. This precious artistic endeavour was made much more enjoyable, and quite informative, by the grand magnitude of the people and institutions I was tasked to reflect upon.
These 15 original Valhalla Arts Red Label pieces are my personal reflections on the milestones that each of these dynamic winners has reached in their efforts that have undoubtedly shaped our changing times and spaces in so many impactful ways. Winners inspire all of us to lift our standards even higher with each new day that comes to pass. This is my tribute to your noted excellence.”
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