At a solemn ceremony in the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, President Stevo Pendarovski decorated Goran Stefanovski, Zafir Hadzimanov and Ramzi Nesimi, posthumously, and Zivko Mukaetov with the Order of Merit for the Republic of North Macedonia.
Goran Stefanovski is posthumously decorated for his exceptional and unique contribution to the continuity and modernization of the literary cultural heritage, for the foundation, development and promotion of contemporary cultural and artistic values in the country and internationally, for the development of Macedonian drama and for establishing the foundations of new dramaturgical forms in the Macedonian literature, for enriching and nurturing the Macedonian language and for establishing new models in the educational and pedagogical sphere.
Zafir Hadzimanov is posthumously decorated for his huge contribution to the specific poly-genre development in the field of artistic creation, for the rich and specific opus in the field of music, composition and vocal interpretation, for the innovative models of promotion of traditional Macedonian harmonies and specifics in the Macedonian music through contemporary and popular forms.
Ramzi Nesimi is posthumously decorated for his unique and lasting contribution to the philological sciences in the field of dialectology and promotion of linguistic richness, for the promotion, linguistic development and anchoring of the importance of Albanology in the Republic of North Macedonia and in the world in general, for the exceptional scientific activity that contributed to the shaping of the standard Albanian language.
Zivko Mukaetov is decorated for the continuity, innovation, vision and impeccable professional standards in modern corporate governance in the pharmaceutical industry, for the proven quality in the production of brands that are developed, maintained and modernized for generations, for the investment and innovation in technology and expertise of the staff that develops the brands, as well as for his philanthropic culture and broad social responsibility.
In his speech, President Pendarovski stressed that the four award holders have different generational, creative and professional trajectories, but still merge into the only life path that leads to the creation of new values in Macedonian society.
With this ceremony of awarding the Order of Merit for the Republic of North Macedonia to Goran Stefanovski, Zafir Hadzimanov, Remzi Nesimi and Zivko Mukaetov, as President Pendarovski said, we want to emphasize the individuals who make the bigger picture of the progress of our common homeland and prosperity of all Macedonian citizens.
Below is the integral text of President Pendarovski’s speech.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are gathered here today to pay tribute and gratitude to four great men. One is playwright, one is musician/actor, one is linguist and one is businessman. Before us are four life stories with different generational, creative and professional trajectories which, nevertheless, merge in the only life path that leads to the creation of new values in the Macedonian society.
I will start with Goran Stefanovski, our master storyteller, who through his anthological plays helps us understand the story about us. After Blaze Koneski, Slavko Janevski and Petre M. Andreevski, Stefanovski is probably the last great archivist and observer of the Macedonian culture and the Macedonian crossroads. In his works and public appearances, he constantly reminded us that identity means responsibility and hard work.
This great man makes in his works a deep vivisection of the human being and gives an accurate diagnosis for several Macedonian, Balkan, but also global anomalies. Although written 40 years ago, many of his observations are still correct. Constantly emphasizing that, in order to survive, man has an urgent need to weave stories, Goran Stefanovski, through his dramatic dialogues, encourages us to find the real role in our authentic story. In some of his last lectures, he warned of the dangers of clichés that can lead us astray, trapping us in distorted and false portrayals of ourselves. “The wrong story can cost us dearly”, Stefanovski said, calling on all of us to fight relentlessly against stereotypes.
The second laureate is the bard of the Macedonian popular music scene, the unique Zafir Hadzimanov. This prolific and versatile artist, through music, poetry, drama and film roles, was able to speak the language of several generations and at the same time, easily and imperceptibly connect different people and nations.
Faithful to his Macedonian cultural core, Hadzimanov was able to interpret Macedonian original music through contemporary and popular forms. Recognizable by his wide smile, the king of chanson managed to captivate the audience wherever he performed. Alone or with his wife, Senka Veletanlic, he recorded countless sound recordings, TV shows and toured the world holding concerts and collecting awards and recognitions for Macedonian and former wider Yugoslav culture.
The third laureate is the founder of higher education in Albanian language in our country, Professor Ramzi Nesimi. This great intellectual of rare and wide knowledge, with his fruitful educational, scientific and cultural work contributed to the standardization of the Albanian literary language and its introduction in education, in the print and electronic media in Macedonia and, in general, to the nurturing and enrichment of the modern Albanian language.
As author of numerous papers, books and textbooks, Professor Nesimi is undoubtedly one of the greatest authorities in the field of Albanology, respected and quoted by all albanologists in our country and in the world. As a prominent linguist and educator, he emphasizes the central place of language in the culture of a nation. Language as the key to interpreting the world, transmitting wisdom and life experiences, connecting generations.
The fourth laureate is with us today. Mr. Zivko Mukaetov is certainly one of the well-known business people in the Republic of North Macedonia. He manages a company that is one of the main pillars of the Macedonian economy, the sixth pharmaceutical industry in Southeast Europe. Under his leadership, Alkaloid AD in its efforts to survive in the market has invested about EUR 200 million in modern production facilities, equipment, laboratories, technology, software and most importantly, staff. Thanks to Mr. Mukaetov, the Alkaloid brand has become recognizable for its top quality and principled corporate policy. Apart from being a successful businessman, Mukaetov is also a well-known philanthropist who, as the first person of the Trajche Mukaetov Foundation, has so far provided scholarships to 539 young talents from the faculties of medicine and pharmacy at the University “St. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje. He is also a longtime supporter of sports, which, with the successes achieved, often unites the Macedonian society.
Each of these great people, more than sure, deserves a special ceremony, honor and attention. However, with this joint awarding of the Order of Merit for the Republic of North Macedonia to Goran Stefanovski, Zafir Hadzimanov, Remzi Nesimi and Zivko Mukaetov, we want to emphasize the individuals who make the bigger picture of the progress of our common homeland and the well-being of all Macedonians citizens. I believe that this idea was best expressed by Stefanovski, who on one occasion said: “In the years to come may we be able to deal with small issues, with small joys, with individual lives. May we not be engaged in solving impossible strategic equations with several unknowns. Let us gather all the collective mind in one place and use it wisely, not scatter it on all sides, so that we do not know whether it is for the economy or for culture, for peace or war, for summer or winter”.