Vakhtang Kikabidze: Ukraine’s “Man of the Year”
05 April, 2015
Vakhtang Kikabidze: Ukraine’s “Man of the Year”
The Supreme Council of Ukraine’s Academics has declared Vakhtang “Buba” Kikabidze, the legendary Georgian singer and national artist “Man of the Year.” The organizations’ official statement claims that Buba was granted this title for supporting the Ukrainian people and promoting the patriotic spirit during the hard times of 2014. It is noteworthy that many prominent people such as: Ilham Aliyev, Javier Solana, Valdas Adamkus, John McCain and Oleg Blokhin have been granted this title at different times. The award is
annual and is open to representatives of various fields. Georgian Journal contacted Buba in Kiev to find out more about the award:

“Last year I received an award from Viktor Yanukovych, but the very next day I stood by the Ukrainian people and expressed my support toward them. If Yanukovych or the former government did not like it, well, too bad. I did not ask them for any awards to begin with.”

– To be honest, it is a huge honor for me and I am extremely pleased. The President of Lithuania and I were the only foreigners granted the title this year. I have been performing on stage for more than 50 years. I feel love and warmth everywhere: both in Ukraine and in Russia – by that, I mean the people, not the government. I love the Ukrainian people very much. They are very courageous and that is the main reason why I supported them last year when they were in trouble. I have to say that last year I received an award from Viktor Yanukovych, but the very next day I stood by the Ukrainian people and expressed my support toward them. If Yanukovych or the former government did not like it, well, too bad. I did not ask them for any awards to begin with.

– As far as we know, you have recently held concerts in Ukraine.

– True, I had tours in four cities: Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Kiev. I received a huge amount of flowers. These were unforgettable days for everyone, especially for me. I felt such warmth from the people. Now I am signing a contract and I am going to hold several geotv.geconcerts in 11 cities of Ukraine.

– There exist recordings that show that the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, attended your concerts.

– Viktor Yushchenko both attended my concerts and invited me to his house. He laid out an incredible feast and expressed his amazement. Though I had only known him for six months, I was warmly received by his family. He personally greeted me at his house, together with his wife and two close friends. Mikheil Saakashvili could not manage to attend my concerts. He was not in Ukraine at that time, if I am not mistaken. However, we still managed to meet shortly after the concerts were over.

– Rumors abound in Georgia of you allegedly seeing political asylum in Ukraine, is that true?

– Don’t tell me that you believed them too. When I arrived in Ukraine, everyone asked me what would the future of their country be like and I answered that things would go so well that I would probably ask for political asylum and move to live there. It was just an innocent joke and the Georgian media misunderstood it. This misinterpretation has resulted in massive confusion. Once again, I repeat that I will live only in Georgia, and that I am not going to move to any other country!

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