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Thrills, spills, surprises at NAMA 2019


Enzo Ishall performing at the NAMAs recently


THE 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) held on Saturday at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) saw several creatives bagging awards with many others going back home disappointed.

Trending musician, Jah Prayzah’s video, Dzamutsana, was voted the Outstanding Video of the year. Before the awards night, the video had been compared to his long-time nemesis Winky D’s MuGarden. After the win, the video producer, Vusi “Blaqs” Hlatshwayo, announced that he was now calling it quits.

Gospel musician Janet Manyowa’s hard work continues to pay off after she clinched the Outstanding Female Musician award with her song, Nyasha Nengoni, released in January this year.

The race for the Outstanding Male Musician award, pitting ExQ, Enzo Ishall and Baba Harare was always going to be a tough contest, and perhaps experience and longevity proved to be the ace up ExQ’s sleeve as he took home the honours. It was a night of double glory for him as his Tseu Tseu offering was voted the Outstanding Album.

The trio dominated the airwaves in the past year with their songs Nzenza, Kanjiva and Hat Dzemurara.
Despite losing out on the Outstanding Male Musician award, it was still a good night for Enzo Ishall after his song, Kanjiva, took the Song of the Year award.

“It is such a great honour to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me,” Enzo Ishall told NewsDay Life & Style yesterday.
Babongile Sikhonjwa, a Bulawayo radio personality, who doubles up as a stand-up comedian, scooped the Outstanding Radio Journalist award.

It was double joy for trending local movie, Cook Off, as it won Thomas Brickhill and Tendaishe Chitima the Outstanding Screen Production — Full Length Film and Outstanding Actress awards.

Under the Special Awards category, the late legendary author, Charles Mungoshi, was posthumously honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was received by his wife Jesse Mungoshi and their children. The Standard newspaper was honoured with the Arts Service Award. Other winners were Danai J Gurira
(Artiste in the Diaspora), Unplugged (Outstanding Promoter) Mai Patai (Viewers’ Choice Award) and Mokoomba (Arts Personality Award).

The Viewer’s Choice Award, which went to Gweru-based gospel singer Respina Patai, torched a storm on social media after many felt that she was not a
deserving candidate.

Popularly known as Mai Patai, the musician dominated the airwaves a decade ago with the track, Mazambara, before disappearing from the radar.

She only resurfaced recently with the album, Punish the Devil, but she is yet to regain her former glory.

Comedian, Long John, was over the moon after scooping the Outstanding Comedian Award. He posted on his Facebook wall the same night: “Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m in shock, I’ve never won anything in my life, but today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal I even have a certificate and everything thank you so much everyone for your support #VillageBoy.”

Guests were entertained by various live individual performers and groups who included Enzo Ishall, Obert Chari and other dance groups from Bulawayo.
Award Winners

Spoken word

Outstanding Poet

Likhwa Ncube

Outstanding Comedian

Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka

Literary arts

Outstanding First Creative Published Book

Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama

Outstanding Children’s Book

The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda

Outstanding Fiction

Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi

Theatre awards

Outstanding Actor

Teddy Mangawa in Ukama

Outstanding Actress

Qeqeshiwe Mtambo in The Hostel

Outstanding Theatrical Production

Ukama by Savanna Trust

Outstanding Director

Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi


Outstanding Female Dancer

Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep

Outstanding Male Dancer

Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro

Outstanding Dance Group

Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka

Outstanding Choreographer

Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa

Visual arts

Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work

The Demolition by John Kotze

Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work

Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi

Outstanding Mix Media Work

The Watchman and the Fence I by Greg Shaw

Outstanding Exhibition

The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza

Film and television

Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi

Outstanding Actress

Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off

Outstanding Music Video

Dzamutsana produced by Vusa Hlatshayo ft. Jah Prayzah

Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series)

Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi

Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film

Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru

Outstanding Screen Production – Full Length Film

Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill


Outstanding Journalist – Print

Fred Zindi – The Standard

Outstanding Journalist – Television

Patience Nyagato – ZTV

Outstanding Journalist – Radio

Babongile Sikhonjwa – Sky Metro FM

Outstanding Online Media



Outstanding Female Musician

Janet Manyowa – Winner

Outstanding Male Musician

Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga

Outstanding Album

Tseu Tseu by ExQ

Outstanding Song

Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishal” Mamhere

Special awards

Artiste in the Diaspora

Danai J. Gurira

Outstanding Promoter


Viewers’ Choice Award

Mai Patai

Arts Personality Award


Arts Service Award

The Standard Newspaper

Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles Mungoshi

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