Vusa Mkhaya honored with inaugural Willi Resetarits Preis for artistic excellence and social impact

Vusa Mkhaya honored with inaugural Willi Resetarits Preis for artistic excellence and social impact

Vusa Mkhaya, the celebrated musician, composer, and choreographer, has been awarded the esteemed Willi Resetarits Preis for his remarkable artistic originality and unwavering commitment to social causes.

This prestigious accolade, established by the city of Vienna in honor of Willi Resetarits, was inaugurated in 2023 and has now recognized Mkhaya as its inaugural recipient in 2024.

FB2022_Willi-Resetarits-33ec9046 Vusa Mkhaya honored with inaugural Willi Resetarits Preis for artistic excellence and social impact

In 2022, Willi Resetarits inaugurated the 28th Vienna Refugee Ball, joining in the festivities alongside numerous refugees and migrants, whose backing held significant meaning to him. Tragically, the following day, he was involved in a fatal accident.

In commemoration of the late artist and co-founder of Integrationshaus, Willi Resetarits, the city of Vienna is set to present the inaugural Willi Resetarits Prize in 2024 during the 30th Refugee Ball. This prestigious award recognizes musical figures or groups who demonstrate a strong commitment to social causes, mirroring Resetarits’ dedication to integration and unity in Vienna.

“Willi was the heartbeat of the Integration House; his absence leaves an irreplaceable void. We grieve his loss deeply, yet remain committed to advancing the endeavors he initiated and fervently championed. This includes our continued dedication to the Vienna Refugee Ball.” said Dr. Sepp Stranig, Deputy Chairman of the Integration House

The award ceremony, a momentous occasion, unfolded on the evening of April 20, 2024, at the Flüchtlingsball in Vienna, Austria. Amidst an atmosphere filled with anticipation and appreciation, Mkhaya took center stage to accept this distinguished honor.

WhatsApp-Image-2024-04-21-at-21.56.49-1-1024x1024 Vusa Mkhaya honored with inaugural Willi Resetarits Preis for artistic excellence and social impact

In his gracious acceptance speech, Mkhaya extended heartfelt gratitude to all those who have played a pivotal role in shaping his artistic journey. He humbly acknowledged the invaluable contributions of fellow artists and community members, emphasizing the profound impact of collective support.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” remarked Mkhaya, attributing his success to the collaborative efforts of his artistic community.

The Willi Resetarits Preis, intended as an annual tribute, celebrates musical personalities or bands that exhibit a profound commitment to addressing social issues through their craft. Beyond the recognition, the award includes a prize of ten thousand euros, a testament to the significance of Mkhaya’s impactful work.

A jury comprising individuals from music, civil society, and the City of Vienna identify potential recipients and finalize the winner through collaborative deliberation. Endowed with a prize of 10,000 euros, the recipients will also perform at the subsequent 2025 Refugee Ball.

Vusa-1024x284 Vusa Mkhaya honored with inaugural Willi Resetarits Preis for artistic excellence and social impact
“We think it is a very nice idea and also a worthy setting to present the prize annually at the Refugee Ball. It was Willi Resetarits’ favorite festival, the culturally unifying nature of music. And always a place where lesser-known but great artists and bands performed, supporting the idea of ​​the Integrationshaus and representing the diverse Viennese cultural landscape. Willi would have liked that,” said managing director Martin Wurzenrainer and ball organizer Nikolaus Heinelt.

For more than three decades, Mkhaya has been an integral figure in Vienna’s rich and diverse arts and culture scene. Through his music, he confronts pressing global issues with a depth and sincerity that resonates deeply with audiences worldwide. Mkhaya’s socially conscious compositions serve as a powerful vehicle for advocacy and social change, inspiring listeners to reflect on pressing issues and unite in collective action.

At the heart of Mkhaya’s artistic philosophy lies the concept of “Ubuntu,” a Southern African principle emphasizing mutual support, empathy, and interconnectedness. Through his unwavering commitment to these ideals, Mkhaya continues to elevate the role of music as a catalyst for positive social transformation.

“I make sure that all the songs I write are family friendly and they speak to everyone, young and old. When working with other artists, I go into the rehearsal room with an open mind to learn from them, I am always aware that, I am because they are” he added

As the recipient of the Willi Resetarits Preis, Vusa Mkhaya ‘#Ngiyabongamina‘ stands as a shining example of artistic excellence and social responsibility. His pioneering spirit and dedication to fostering positive change serve as an inspiration to musicians and advocates alike, underscoring the profound impact of music in shaping our shared humanity.

Vusa Mkhaya, Vusa Mkhaya
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