M.I.A RECEIVES AN MBE
“I’m honoured to have this honour…”
M.I.A, born Mathangi Arulpragasam, is the latest to receive an MBE for “services to music” on this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, along with Elvis Costello and Fergal Sharkey.
The recognition feels like a long time coming – as well as gracing us with iconic tracks like “Bad Girls“, the rapper’s taken on work as a dedicated activist and philanthropist over the past few years, publically speaking up for refugees and oppressed minorities, and showing dedicated support for a range of charities.
“It means alot to my Mother. I want to honour what my mum spent many hours of her life doing!” she commented on Instagram, explaining that her mum has actually spent the past thirty years making the badges awarded to recipients:
“She is one of the 2 women in England who hand stitched these medals for the last 30 years. After receiving asylum my mum and cousin took this job in 1986, because it was the only non-English speaking manual labour she could find. She spent her life in England hand sewing 1000s of medals for the Queen. No matter how I feel or what I think, my Mother was extremely proud of the job she had. It’s a very unique situation for me where I get to honour her most classiest minimum wage job ever.”
In another post, M.I.A also emphasised the significance of her heritage to winning the award, noting that “The last time a TAMIL got a MBE was 1954”, referencing Ceylon Tamil civil servant and Commissioner of Elections, Arumugam Arulpiragasam.