THIS year 664 National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) entry forms from all provinces have been submitted for the 13th edition of the awards to be held on February 15, 2014 in Bulawayo.
Tinashe Sibanda,Entertainment Reporter
This year has seen a notable increase of Nama submissions with a varying total number of entries in the different categories.
Some of this year’s Nama winners included outstanding female musician Hope Masike, outstanding actress Nothando Nobengula as well as outstanding comedian Carl Joshua Ncube.
Musician Sulumani Chimbetu also scooped various awards at the event.
Last year, the 12th Nama edition had a total 514 entries, bringing about a notable difference of 150 from this year’s increased number of 664.
“Those who submitted include production houses, studios, stables, galleries, organisations, associations, groups, artistes, monitors and/or the publics.
“The Nama categories will include music, literary, dance, visual, film and television, theatre, media, spoken word and special awards,” said National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) communications and marketing officer Cathrine Mthombeni.
She said in all the categories there were various entries, with the music category taking a lead with 256 entries and the spoken word category being the least with 18 entries.
Mthombeni added that the visual category had 137 entries, film and television with 84 entries, theatre 56 entries, dance 48 entries and literary 34 entries. Moreover, there are 31 entries in the media category.
“Nama is the forum where the NACZ recognises outstanding achievements within the arts sector.
“By rewarding excelling artists, Nama stimulates more interest in the arts and raises the profile of the same,” said Mthombeni.
She added that the awards were a means of encouraging creativity and excellence in the quality of the arts, making Zimbabwe a force to reckon with on the international arena.
Mthombeni said in addition, the awards aimed to inspire artistes to strive for higher and original forms of creativity and provide an opportunity for arts disciplines to jointly market and publicise the arts locally, regionally and internationally.
“The adjudication process for all the entries is currently in progress. NACZ appointed a team of monitors who kept an eye on excelling artistes throughout the year.
“A panel of independent adjudicators were appointed to preside over all the submissions as well as monitor reports,” she added.
Mthombeni said the adjudicators were always guided by a set of selection criteria on the selection of nominees and winners for each category.