President Jacob Zuma bestowed the 2016 National Orders Awards and Author Marguerite Poland was honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.
Marguerite Poland grew up and was educated in the Eastern Cape, and is fluent in Xhosa and isiZulu. She is a graduate of Rhodes and Stellenbosch Universities and the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has a BA in Xhosa and Social Anthropology, an Honours degree in Comparative African Languages and an MA in Zulu Literature. Poland writes for both children and adults, and her landmark 1979 book The Mantis And The Moon is credited with establishing a market for indigenous children’s books in English in South Africa. Her adult novels have won several prestigious awards, and she has also written a number of academic papers and reports. Her most recent novel is The Keeper.