Photography academic invited by President to attend ceremony for popstar Rita Ora

A reader in Photography at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) was given the honour of lifetime when she was invited to a ceremony naming pop superstar Rita Ora as an honorary ambassador of Kosovo.


Former Prime Minister Tony Blair addresses guests at ceremony to honour Rita ora (right)

Lala Meredith-Vula, a Kosovan born Albanian artist and photographer, was invited in recognition of her stature and pedigree in Kosovan arts.

Earlier this year, Kosovan President Atifete Jahjaga attended Lala’s exhibition at the Kosovan National Gallery with the President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, during the latter’s state visit to Kosovo.

President Jahjaga then personally invited Lala to the ceremony at the Kosovan embassy in London where Rita Ora, who was born in the Kosovan capital city of Pristina, was presented with her ambassadorial title.

The ceremony was also attended by former Prime Minister Tony Blair and wife Cherie, along with other senior diplomats and cultural Kosovan figureheads.


Lala Meredith-Vula

Lala was rightfully proud of the acknowledgement of her own achievement that was evident in President Jahjaga’s inviting of her.

“I think it’s just recognition that I was important enough to even be invited to be a witness for this event, it was a big thing for me.

“It was very moving. Rita Ora had tears in her eyes as she received the award,” she said.

“Her family and her friends were there and it was a very moving moment when they handed her this title.

“It was quite an intimate ceremony with only 20 to 30 people there.”


European Presidents visit DMU photographer's exhibition

Find out about Photography at DMU

The Five Photographs That (You Didn't Know) Changed Everything 

Although born in Kosovo, Rita Ora moved to Britain with her family when she was just one year old.

Speaking to Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy about the move away from Kosovo and the honour of receiving this title, Rita said: “We left because my father didn't want to attend the army, he chose to bring up his children instead.

"It was something that my mother and father chose for us. As parents - I am not one - but I can imagine you would do anything for your children so they did just that, and I'm very very grateful.

"It was a very emotional day for me because we've been waiting as a nation for this for such a long time; so I think to hear it in real life it just really hit a nerve.”

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was also invited to attend the ceremony as he is heralded in the country for his role in helping Kosovan Albanians gain independence from Yugoslavia during the Kosovan war of 1998/99.

Posted on Thursday 13th August 2015

  Search news archive