NAMA awards preparations gather momentum


PREPARATIONS for the 13th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) edition to be held on February 15, 2014 at Rainbow Hotel in the City of Kings under the theme Unite, Excite and Educate are at an advance stage.

Report by Entertainment Reporter

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) communications officer Catherine Mthombeni said: “This year’s NAMA edition will see a more detailed approach on national pride and heritage, embracing the essence and spirit of what it means to be Zimbabweans, showcasing art talent from across Zimbabwe.”

She added that the event would celebrate the artistry that would have been exuded by the various artists in distinct categories through their excellent works.

Mthombeni said apart from people coming together to pay tribute to the masters of the arts and culture industry, the awards ceremony would be complemented by a series of events that will celebrate the diverse cultures that promote and develop positive national cultural identity, values of hunhu/ubuntu, patriotism and pan-Africanism.

“These events will give flare to the awards as well as to stir excitement and by awarding different artistes from various categories that include music, literature, dance, visual, film and television, theatre, media and spoken word. The event will be a reflection of the diversity of cultures in Zimbabwe that are a resemblance of our intrinsic values and norms,” she said.

Mthombeni said different ways of lives would be portrayed through the excelling works that were created from December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2013.

Moreover, the education aspect that is fundamental in arts creation will be through the NAMA content and the series of events that will be lined up to inform the public of the vast and diverse talent that we take pride in as Zimbabweans.

“This also underscores the notion that arts are not only for entertainment purposes, but are also informative as well as educative through their various forms hence the fact that artists’ works mirror society,” Mthombeni added.

She said NAMA was the forum where NACZ recognised outstanding achievements within the arts sector by rewarding excelling artists, stimulating more interest in the arts and raising the profiles of the same.

The awards are a means of encouraging creativity and excellence in the quality of the arts, making Zimbabwe a force to reckon with on the international arena as they aim 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.


  1. The current format of NAMA does not achieve the goal of “recognizing outstanding achievements in the arts sector by rewarding the excelling artists,stimulating more intere4st in the arts and raising the profiles of the same.” The current format is out of tune with the methods being used to identifying outstanding artists or artistic products. iT DOES NOT HELP TO TRY AND CONVINCE THE MANAGEMENT OF NACZ TO CONSIDER THE SERIOUS faults or shortcomings with the current format of NAMA; the processes of identifying outstanding achievementsor achievers and excellent products; the nature of recognizing the achievers and the profiling of the achievers.Many people have argued that it does make sense to consider only artists who have nominated themselves and who have capacity to submit audio-visual evidence of their works or products. These requirement rule out rural based artists and those without the resources present the nomination. As long as there is no national selectors who can see the works in performance, exhibition and visit institutions and production houses to determine the quality of their work or impact of their artistic programmes what are presented as excellent artistic products or achievements are indeed a ‘farce” or very personalised choices often regionally or even tribally rationalised. There must me a college of voters from the different sections of the artistic community to nominate artistic products, organisations, artists who can be considered for NAMA. Obviously the call for the revamping of the NAMA and its significance, its national status is to Minister Langa, Deputy Minister Kanengoni-Malinga and Permanent Secretary Dr. Chitepo who seem to have the capacity to look at cultural issues and challenges differently from the persons at NACZ and those officials who have be closed their eyes and ears to critical concerns about the arts sector. Let it be made clear that to try and link NAMA with “values of ubuntu, patriotism, panAfricanism and positive national cultural identity” is to try and direct artists and cultural operators and present criteria of valuing artists, artistic products, programmes , activities and movements that are not priority considerations in artistic creativity and viable artistic or cultural pre-occupation. Let NAMA be a big party for the few who always attend these expensive functions.

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