TOP musicians, Jah Prayzah and Ninja president Winky D, went head-to-head — scooping two awards apiece at the 15th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) held at the 7 Arts Theatre in Harare on Saturday night.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
Jah Prayzah and Winky D were the biggest winners at the awards ceremony that saw guests being entertained by mbira princess Hope Masike, Tariro neGitare, Children’s Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) and comedian Doc Vikela.
The Jerusarema and Disappear hit-makers were battling for top honours in three of the categories after being nominated for the Outstanding Male Musician and Outstanding Album awards, both of which were scooped by Jah Prayzah as well as the Outstanding Song award won by Winky D’s Disappear which has taken the nation by storm.
The Ninja president completed his double when he was voted the people’s favourite under the People’s Choice Award.
Although the songs Ebenezer by Togarepi Chivaviro, Tirikuda Kumbofarawo by dancehall musician Killer T and Jah Prayzah’s Eriza were regarded potential outstanding songs, the late release of the song Disappear probably made the difference and swayed the adjudicators to Winky D’s side.
The song Disappear is doing well locally and internationally as it is among the top five hits on BBC’s Afro Beats by DJ Edu, a feat no other Zimbabwean singer has reached. Sentiments expressed on social media network platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp showed that a significant number of fans were tipping Killer T for the Outstanding Album Award with his well-received Ngoma Ndaimba album, but the judges felt otherwise and awarded the top prize to Jah Prayzah’s Jerusarema.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the ceremony, Winky D said bagging two national awards was a reflection of the fans’ appreciation of his music.
His manager Jonathan Banda concurred, saying the dynamics of what they represented wou
ld not go away.
Winky D later took to Facebook to salute his fans for the support especially their votes in the People’s Choice Award.
“Greetings to all loving Zimbabweans. Special mention goes to all the Ninjas and Gafas who have rallied behind my works from inception. Those who have tried to fight the movement also deserve recognition in that they always revived our efforts as we scaled up the energy required to make our works survive the distance,” he wrote.
“A strong (sic) is remembered on the day of the fight and l would like to express my hearty appreciation to you all for seeing us through two National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) in the Best Song Award where Disappear (sic) was accolade as the best for the past year. My heart is overflown (sic) with gratitude and so please accept these words which are a far cry from how great my gratitude is to you, Gafa Kusvika Ndafa.”
Jah Prayzah also wrote: “Thanks to all my fans nekuramba makamira neni ndimi maita kuti mikombe iuye kwaMukombe. (Thanks to all my fans for your support that has seen these trophies coming to the Mukombe family), Love you guys.”
Outstanding comedian Doc Vikela told NewsDay that winning the award meant a lot to him. “Doc Vikela phenomenon is here to stay. I am still in cloud nine and humbled . . . Last year, I pushed myself to a new level that we wish to surpass again this year as we strive to break new frontiers,” Doc Vikela said. “A big shouts out to Tariro neGitare, the person who gave me my first shot at a real comedy audience and inspired me to work harder. As we go forward our fans should expect more great things to come. This is just the beginning.”
Below is the full list of the winners;
LITERARY ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding First Creative Published Works — Chaotic by Samantha Chihuri
Outstanding Children’s Book — Tsuro naGudo: Misi yese Haifanani by Daniel Mutendi and Wilbur Kandiero (DanTs Media)
Outstanding Fiction — Textures by John Eppel and Togara Muzanenhamo (AmaBooks)
Outstanding Male Dancer — Sean Mambwere (M & M Dance Factory)
Outstanding Female Dancer — Timikha Fisher (Breakthrough Productions)
Outstanding Dance Group — M & M Dance Factory
Outstanding Choreographer — Sean Mambwere (M & M Dance Factory)
VISUAL ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work — Tears of a Woman by Mavis Tauzen
Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work — Happy Elephant by Farai T Tandi
Outstanding Mix Media Work — The Dog and the Bone by Johnson Zuze
Outstanding Exhibition — Agostinho Neto Curated by Raphael Chikukwa at National Gallery of Zimbabwe
SPOKEN WORD AWARDS
Outstanding Poet — Philani Nyoni
Outstanding Comedian — Victor T Mpofu aka Doc Vikela
Outstanding Actress — Nyaradzo Nhongonhema in Chimbwido the Girl of War
Outstanding Actor — Gift Chakuvinga in The Taking
Outstanding Theatrical Production — Chimbwido the Girl of War by Stanley Mukuwe
Outstanding Director — Stanley Makuwe for Chimbwido the Girl of War
FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS
Outstanding Actor — Anthony Tongani in Ngozi
Outstanding Actress — Chipo Mbizvo in Mwanasikana
Outstanding Music Video — Huyai Tinamate by Charles Mawungwa featuring Hope Masike
Outstanding Screen Production — Full Length Film — Mwanasikana directed by Beauty Nakai Tsuro
Outstanding Screen Production — Short Film — Jane the Ghost directed by Learnmore Sibanda
Outstanding Screen Production (TV) — Tonight with Zororo directed by Nqobizitha Mlilo and Zororo Makamba
Outstanding Journalist Print — Beaven Tapureta (The Herald)
Outstanding Journalist TV — Sifiso Mpofu (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation)
Outstanding Journalist Radio — Josephine Mugiyo (Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation)
Outstanding Online — Panorama
Outstanding Female Musician — Selmor Mtukudzi
Outstanding Male Musician — Mukudzei Mukombe aka Jah Prayzah
Outstanding Album — Jerusarema by Mukudzei Mukombe aka Jah Prayzah
Outstanding Song — Disappear from Gafa Life by Winky D
Outstanding Promoter — Danchip Investments t/a Legends Sports Bar
People’s Choice Award — Winky D