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Local awards dogged by lack of sponsorship


ZIMBABWE has witnessed many music awards since the dollarisation of the economy in 2009. However, most of the awards have fizzled out or suffered a stillbirth because of lack of funds. The organisers of the awards have accused sponsors of not keeping their promises.

By Teddy Mkwesha

When the Wene music awards were launched last year, they were dubbed to be the “alternative music awards of choice”.

Rooftop Promotions unveiled Wene Music Awards in a bid to honour musicians for various achievements.

Rooftop Board director Ray Mawerera said the organisation was motivated by the revolution in the music industry.

“We have in this country witnessed, in the last few years, an exciting revolution in the arts, and particularly music. Barriers have been broken, new styles have emerged and our traditional ways of doing things have been challenged, hence giving us the courage to launch these awards,” he said at the launch.

However, the awards which were supposed to be held last year were postponed indefinitely and the organisers have remained tight-lipped on what transpired.

When contacted for comment, Rooftop Promotions spokesperson Robert Tapfumaneyi insisted that the awards were going to be held this year.

“The awards are on the previously announced date [October 29] but it’s only that they are going to be held this year,” he said.

Indications are that the organisers failed to raise the much-needed funds to successfully host the awards.

When the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) returned last year after a seven-year hiatus, the organisers promised glitz and glamour.

They even compared the awards to the prestigious South African Music Awards (SAMAs).

The SAMAs are the South African equivalent of the American Grammy Awards.

“We are very keen to consult as many stakeholders as possible. The awards should be in tandem with international awards ceremonies. We have roped in some of Africa’s best awards organisers to give in their input,” said Joseph Nyadzawo, the chairman of the awards.

When the awards were finally held, all the winners had to use only one trophy since the organisers failed to secure funds to secure the award for every musician.

“We were promised that we would be given the award but nothing has materialised five months after the award ceremony,” one of the Zima winners said.
Musician Chingx Chingaira is yet to move to the house he won as a lifetime achievement because Nyadzawo is failing to finish the house due to lack of funds.

This year’s National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) was a step back compared to last year’s edition as there was no cash prize at the event.

Last year, all the winners walked away with $500 in cash prize but this year Nama organisers failed to secure the sponsorship.

Organisers of the Zimdancehall Awards are sweating to secure enough funding the awards.

“Some companies have promised to chip in but they have not committed. Last year we had support from mobile phone companies and we hope to retain them. We are still yet to find enough sponsorship,” Phinias Mushayi, one of the organisers said.

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