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Mixed reactions over Nama winners

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History repeated itself as high-riding musicians, Winky D and Jah Prayzah, again scooped two awards apiece at the annual National Arts Merit Awards (Nama), held at 7 Arts in Harare on Saturday night.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Outstanding Album of the Year and the People’s Choice award winner, Winky D  with his shield
Outstanding Album of the Year and the People’s Choice award winner, Winky D with his shield

This was a recurrence of what transpired at the same awards ceremony last year, where the Mdara Vachauya and Gafa Futi hitmakers reigned supreme in the music awards categories becoming the biggest winners of the night.

At this year’s 16th edition of the awards organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, running under the theme Partner with the Arts, Jah Prayzah and Winky D were battling for top honours in two of the top categories after they were nominated for the Outstanding Male Musician and Outstanding Album gongs.

Although Jah Prayzah retained the Outstanding Male Musician award, he failed to defend the Outstanding Album award that was scooped by Winky D with his Gafa Futi Chi Extraterrestrial album.

Jah Prayzah outclassed Killer T, Njabulo Nkomo and Ammara Brown for his second gong in the Outstanding Song category with Mdara Vachauya, while the Ninja President, Winky D, retained the People’s Choice Award, to complete his double as music fans’ – through votes – rated him the country’s best for the second time in a row.

Winky D later took to Facebook to salute his fans for the support, saying it energises him and their patience gives him confidence, which he could never feel with anything inferior.

“State of the gafa nation address. It is with utmost gratitude that I, hereby, humble myself before you gafas and gafaresses. I could never forget the beauty of your belief in the gafa vision. Your undying love provides the shade for the glory of the gafa works,” he wrote.

“Your evergreen trust in gafa life provides the warmth during the low cold moments. I can only understand the music through your ever-loving faith in our mission. Your company in this music has become the better part of myself. I, hereby, congratulate you all on the winning of the 16th Nama awards for outstanding album (Gafa Futi) and People’s Choice Award. Indeed, when spiders unite, they can tie a lion. You have shown me that together we go beyond any horizon.”

Jah Prayzah’s second gong (Outstanding Song), however, attracted mixed reactions on social media platforms, as some arts followers said Killer T was robbed, as his song Takangodaro deserved the award.

The Outstanding Screen Production – Full Length Film category won by Muzita Rababa that was directed by Nick Zemura also attracted mixed reactions, as both film enthusiasts and makers queried how a television series could win in such a category.

Local award-winning filmwriter and director, Joe Njagu, wrote on Facebook: “So a 24-min TV series just won in a full length feature film category at Nama. Please explain this? We are requesting to see the film please. Some of the judges are filmmakers, but allow this. Anyway congratulations my brother, Nick Zemura for beating all feature films with a 24 min TV series.”

Ammara Brown outshined gospel musician, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and young Thamsanqa Moyo for the Outstanding Female Musician gong.

On the comedy front, acclaimed Bulawayo-based stand-up comedian, Nqobizitha Dube popularly known as Q Dube outshone Ntandoyenkosi Moyo and rising female comedian, Samantha “Gonyeti” Kureya for the outstanding comedian gong.

It was double joy for the Mungoshi family when veteran actress Jesesi Mungoshi, popular for her lead role in the local blockbuster movie, Neria, walked away with the Outstanding Actress award for her role in the film Muzita Rababa, while her eldest son, Farai, received honours in the outstanding first published creative work, with his debut publication, Behind the Wall Everywhere.

NewsDay correspondent, Tinashe Muchuri, walked away with the outstanding journalist – Print gong.

Special awards including National Arts Service Award, Arts Personality Award and Promoter of the Year were given to pay tribute to individuals and institutions that have impacted the development and promotion of the arts.

2 Kings Entertainment’s efforts to uplift young local talent by according them opportunities to showcase their talents at several live concerts were recognised as they were awarded the outstanding promoter gong.

The adjudicators, who presided over the submissions, however, said there was mediocrity and lack of originality in a number of entries submitted.

This year’s edition of the awards registered a decline of more than 300 entries, compared to last year’s submissions, as only 775 entries were submitted across the country ahead of the November 30 deadline, a drop of 329 from 1 104 entries submitted for last year’s edition.

To give the event an artistic sparkle, on the interlude, guests were treated to performances by Jah Prayzah, renowned visual artists Voti Thebe, Airforce percussion artistes, songbird Noma Nkwali, Shabach Entertainment, M & M Dance Factory, Probeatz and Chipawo.

The awards, which were hosted by internationally-acclaimed and award winning comedian, Carl Joshua Ncube, who also left guest in stitches with his jokes laden with politics and social commentary, are meant to celebrate and recognise excellence in the arts and culture sector.

Full list of the winners:

Theatre Awards

Outstanding Actor
Everson Ndlovu in Liberation

Outstanding Actress
Rumbidzai Karize in Liberation

Outstanding Theatrical Production
Liberation by Savanna Trust

Special Mention
The Dream by Chaplin High School Drama Club

Outstanding Director
Matesu Dube for Warrior

Spoken Word Awards

Outstanding Poet
Tinashe Tafirenyika

Outstanding Comedian
Nqobizitha Dube aka Q Dube

Literary Arts Awards

Outstanding First Creative Published Works

Behind The Wall Everywhere by Farai Mungoshi (Mungoshi Press)

Special Mention

Vicious Circle by Stephen Mutsago

Outstanding Children’s Book

The Unwelcome Visitor by Farai Nyandoro (Jomo Kenyatta Foundation)

Outstanding Fiction

Whose Land Is It Anyway by Benjamin S Sibanda

Special Mention

Mars His Sword by Philani A Nyoni

Visual Arts Awards

Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work

Gumbeze Renherera by Anthony Bumhira

Special Mention

Together Enjoying by Resta Chikomo

Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work

Washing Hair by Edson Kangadza

Outstanding Mix Media Work

Mhodzi Dzemusango by Semina Mpofu

Outstanding Exhibition

Woman by Miriro Mwandiyambira At First Floor Gallery

Dance Awards

Outstanding Female Dancer
Christina Jenkins in Ghost

Outstanding Male Dancer
Stephanie Thomas in Phantom

Outstanding Dance Group
Breakthrough Productions

Special Mention

St Peters Tokoyo School – Antalia Expo in Turkey

Outstanding Choreographer

Timikha Fisher – Listen

Film And Television Awards

Outstanding Actress

Jesesi Mungoshi in Muzita Rababa

Outstanding Actor

Anthony Tongani in Conflicts

Outstanding Music Video

Zino Irema (Ndirikukuwonai Zvangu) By Andy “Cutta” Sobhuza featuring Takura

Outstanding Screen Production (TV)

The Arthur C Evans Show directed By Trey Ncube

Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film
Seiko Directed by Sydney Taivavashe

Outstanding Screen Production – Full Length Film
Muzita Rababa directed by Nick Zemura

Media Awards

Outstanding Journalist – Print
Tinashe Muchuri – NewsDay

Outstanding Journalist – Radio
Tawanda Gudhlanga – SFM

Outstanding Journalist – Tv
Andrew Neshamba – ZBC

Outstanding Online Media
Zimbuzz

Music Awards

Outstanding Female Musician
Ammara Brown

Outstanding Male Musician
Jah Prayzah

Outstanding Album
Gafa Futi by Winky D

Outstanding Song
Mdhara Vachauya by Jah Prayzah

Special Awards

Outstanding Promoter
2 Kings Entertainment

Arts Personality Award
Iyasa

National Arts Service Award
Nigel Munyati

People’s Choice Award
Winky D

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