Nama faces venue crisis

THE National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) faces a new hurdle ahead of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) ceremony set for Bulawayo next week after the Bulawayo City Council turned down their request to use both Large and Small City halls for free.

Report by Nqobile Bhebhe

The awards are pencilled for Large City Hall on February 16.

Council said it could not offer its facilities for free due to financial constraints.

Through a letter dated January 10 to the council, Nama organisers requested to use Large and Small City halls for a week for free.

“The 12th edition of the National Arts Awards (Nama) will be held in Bulawayo for the first time on the 16th of February 2013 under the theme Convergence Through the Arts.

“The awards’ primary role is to recognise and reward talent and excellence in the field of art and culture in the whole of Zimbabwe.

“A taskforce made up of sons and daughters of Bulawayo has been set up to run the event.

“As the taskforce responsible for making the event a success and memorable, we request through this letter, the use of the Large City and Small City halls for the event for free.

“The venue will be required from Monday 11th February till Sunday 17th February 2013,” reads part of the letter.

Organisers had requested the venues to be availed to them days before the event for artistes, and technical rehearsals as well as nominees and presenters’ rehearsals.

However, councillors threw away the request on Wednesday.

The councillors’ resolution on the issue was “that the application by Nama for free use of the Large and Small City halls from 11th-17th February, 2013 be not acceded to for reasons detailed in the report, eg financial constraints”.

In reaching the decision, council said in the past it had not acceded to request for free use of its facilities except in the case of national events such as Independence celebrations.

Occasionally, the city council does grant rebates of 25% or 50% on merit to charitable organisations.

Deputy Mayor Amen Mpofu said council should review the free use of municipal facilities, saying only national events could be considered although they had their own budgets
However, NACZ assistant director for arts and promotion development Audrey Charamba said they would make arrangements to ensure they secure the venue.

“We were in the process of inviting partners for the awards ceremony, but they (the council) had their constraints. We respect their decision and we will ensure that the ceremony goes ahead at the same venue,” she said.

A total 35 awards are up for grabs from the eight arts categories.

Artistes vying for awards in different categories include Clive Chigubhu, Carl Joshua Ncube, Nothando Nobengula, Caroline Mashingaidze, Sniper Storm and Blessing Shumba.

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  1. Thank you Mr Bulawayo City Council for rejecting this silly request. They cannot use our facilities for free yet they fail to do simple basic things such as recognising our local talent. For a long time, people from that region has taken us for granted. It is ridiculous for foreigners to come all the way from the northern region and say they want to use your house for dinner yet your kids are starving. I am proud that ever since, my family has never bought any of their artist’s record, even the overrated Oliver Mtukudzi, NEVER, NEVER.

    1. Disregarding ur hard core sentiments bhururu, I support the city council since there is nothing for free these days. Whose responsibilities would it be to clean the mess left behind, lightining, cleaning etc etc and all these have costs to be taken care of. Hapana chemahara these days.Those who have in abundance still want more from the poor so BCC you were absolutely right to refuse. They must pay

    2. Nhlanhla your family never bought Tuku, but they flock when SA DJs come to the city to play them CDs. You are so sick that you can’t even support your own artists from your region. Harare guys support their own. Hate Tuku, Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Winky D, but when they come to Bulawayo they fill the venues. SA supports its own. It’s high time you stopped dreaming being somebody else. City council should demand a charge to take care of basic expenses. Not to make profit.

      1. Phunyukabemphethe

        There is no such a thing as supporting your own in this field of human edeavour. You support what you find enjoyable, whether you understand the language or not.

        Music and the arts in general know no language barrier, cultural barrier or borders my friend. The problem here is the BCC, s dont mix issues.

        1. i didn’t mix issues wena Phunyu…. i was responding to Nhlanhla. You should realise that if you always find whats cooked next door more delicious than what your mother cooks always…always…then you have a problem.

  2. The Mayor of Bulawayo should be made aware of the fact that attract cultural industry into Bulawayo will cost some money. Here is one small opportunity to spend very little from the budget of the BCC to support the growth of cultural industry and to complete the efforts of all those who campaign for the NAMA to be in Bulawayo to enable the residents to participate in this prime national cultural event. This is a litmus test for the political party that has the majority of the councillors in Bulawayo . We the artists now know you have no idea of what it means for a city council to promote cultural industries in general and to ensure that the arts sector is recognized as a critical employment creation and income generating sector mainly for young people in particular. Come June, we shall decide who becomes a councillor in that city. The Council should reconsider and ask the National Arts Council to do the cleaning up after the event but have the facility as its contribution to the promotion of the cultural industry.

  3. Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was once a amusement account it. Look advanced to more brought agreeable from you! However, how can we be in contact?

  4. In zimbabwe there is no musician who fills a stadium even mtukudzi ariku harare kwacho don’t lie,unless kuma halls&sports diners.

    1. I said venues, Mbizo. Venues.

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