Producer and actor Jasen Mphepo ruled the night at National Arts Merit Awards ceremony held at 7Arts Theatre in Avondale on Saturday after scooping two awards for his productions Pfuma and New Dawn.
As usual, the awards came with a fair share of surprises. In the music categories names like Sulumani Chimbetu and Wallace Chirumiko aka Winky D, who were almost obviously tipped to dominate, only bagged a single award each with names like Blessing Shumba rising to the occasion to get his first award.
Chimbetu was voted Outstanding Musician while Winky D won the People’s Choice award despite losing out in two other categories.
Pastor Charles Charamba scooped the Outstanding Song award for his song Nyika yeZimbabwe.
In theatre Edith Katiji stole the show against promising actresses Evangelista Mwatse and Sandra Chidawanyika while Munya Chidzonga was awarded for his role in The Gentleman.
To add to the glamour of the occasion was comedian Carl Joshua Ncube and former Miss Harare Samantha Rumbidzai Dika who were the masters of ceremony.
Ncube’s hillarious jokes kept the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the event.
Besides the success of the event, the challenges that the National Arts Council experienced in the run-up to the awards are ample proof that there is a serious need to formulate timely policies that are in tandem with artistic dynamics globally.
The rest of the winners are listed below.
Outstanding Fiction Book
Lazaruses and Devases by Wellington Kusema (Heritage Press, UK)
Outstanding Children’s Book
Tindo’s Quest by Shimmer Chinodya (Longman Zimbabwe)
Outstanding First Creative Published Work
The African Tea Cosy by Violet Masilo (Zimbabwe Women Writers)
Outstanding Male Dancer
Macintosh Jerahuni — National Ballet
Outstanding Female Dancer
Mitchelle Nativel — National Ballet
Outstanding Dance Group
Umkhathi Theatre Works
Edith Katiji in The Comeback
Michael Southall in Jesus My Boy
Outstanding Theatrical Production
Burn Mukwerekwere Burn directed by Blessing
Hungwe produced by NKM Productions
Nyika yeZimbabwe by Charles Charamba
NdiMwari by Blessing Shumba
Outstanding Musician /Group
Outstanding Two-Dimensional Work
Limitless Diversity by Calvin Chimutuwah
Outstanding Three-Dimensional Work
Nguva Yekupembera by Boet Nyariri
Outstanding Mixed Media Work
Barika by Forbes Mushipe
Film & Television
Munyaradzi Chidzonga aka The Twins — Tawana and Takunda Toga in The Gentleman
Caroline Mashingaidze aka Zodwa in New Dawn
Outstanding Screen Production (Film)
Pfuma produced and directed by Jasen Mphepho
Outstanding Screen Production (Television Drama)
New Dawn produced and directed by Jasen Mphepho
Outstanding Music Video
Grown Up Kid featuring Tendai Nguni produced by Friends of Joshua Trust
Outstanding Arts Reporter (Print)
Tony Mhonda (The Herald)
Outstanding Arts Reporter (Electronic: Radio)
Nqobile Malinga (ZBC)
Outstanding Arts Reporter (Electronic: Television)
Terence Mapurisana — ZBC News