The South African Indian community says goodbye to Dr T.P Naidoo. The 79-year-old, had been battling cancer since 2008 passed away peacefully earlier yesterday. A cultural icon and one of the most outstanding commentators on Andhra heritage and culture. For more than five decades Dr T,P Naidoo had been steadfastly involved in the promotion and propagation of the Indian performing arts through song, music and dance on stage.
Through the Indian Academy of South Africa which he founded in 1960, aimed to unify all Indians through culture regardless of linguistic differences, he has hosted numerous groups of visiting artists and also showcased local talent at the annual Thyagaraja Music Festival and other prestigious concerts. The Indian Academy hosted their first awards event in 1965.
The Nadaraja Awards commended recipients like the late Dr AD Lazarus (1965) for education, the late ML Sultan (1966) for philanthropy, Madhavan Nair (1983) for music, Dr TP Naidoo (1990) for Indian culture, the late Mr PI Devan (2003) and Ashwin Trikamjee (2005). The Golden Peacock Achiever awards was initiated in 1990 and the first award was presented to Sundru Pillay. Since then recipients included Anant Singh (1996), Ranjith Ramnarain (2003) and Tilly Naidoo (2011).The principles of giving that he espouses are universal, and he has donated thousands of food hampers and raised money for the needy.
The Indian Government presented the doyen of Andhra culture the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in New Delhi in January 2010 for his contribution to the image and promotion of Indian values in the Indian Diaspora.
“People will remember Dr Naidoo for his positive attitude; his ‘never say die attitude’ and mainly for his patience and also his sincerity, honesty.