WHILE naysayers have concluded that there is no arts industry to talk about in Zimbabwe, local artistes have however, continued to raise the country’s flag high through their outstanding crafts in different genres, placing the creative sector on the global map.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
In the latest development, award-winning dancehall president Winky D, South Africa-based Zimbabwean Amapiano star, Charmaine Shamiso Mapambiro, popularly known as Sha Sha in the showbiz industry, and Jah Prayzah have been nominated for the forthcoming prestigious 2020 African Entertainment Awards, USA (AEAUSA) set for December 12 in New Jersey.
Although the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the creative sector, at least Winky D, Sha Sha and Jah Prayzah have something positive to smile at after being nominated for the annual awards that seek to honour African’s excellence across all crafts and industry sectors, including entertainment, entrepreneurship and community.
Winky D was nominated in the Best Dance Hall category, where he will battle for honours with Shatta Wale, Prince Bright, Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Sheebah Karungi, Stonebwoy, Samini and Navy Kenzo.
Sha Sha’s nomination in the Best Female Artist category comes on the backdrop of her recent piece of history, when she became the first Zimbabwean artiste to win the esteemed Black Entertainment Television (BET) gong for Viewers’ Choice: Best New International Act.
The BET awards honour and celebrate Black excellence in entertainment and sport and are organised by the Black Entertainment Television, a prominent television network targeting African-American audiences in the United States.
At the AEAUSA awards, the Bulawayo-born Sha Sha will battle for honours alongside top songstresses Zahara, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Nady, Sho Madjozi, Sheebah Karungi, Rema Namakula, AYA Nakamura and Kenza Mosli.
The Kutonga Kwaro hitmaker, Jah Prayzah, has been nominated in two categories, Best Male Artist — East/South/North Africa and Entertainer of The Year, respectively.
In the Best Male Artist — East/South/North Africa category, Jah Prayzah will battle against Diamond Platnumz, Rayvanny, Elgrande Toto, Harmonize, The Ben, Ali Kiba, Eddy Kenzo, Teddy Afro and Bruce Melodie.
According to the awards organisers, the Best Male Artist nominees from this region have grown significantly and are now considered among the best in Africa since inception of these awards.
In his second category’s nomination, Best Male Artist, the dreadlocked Jah Prayzah will battle for honours with Burna Boy, Wiz Kid, Innoss B, Diamond Platnumz, Eddy Kenzo, Rayvanny, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage and Harmonize.
The awards organisers said 2020 was a tough year, adding that from the great artistes globally, they could select only 10 to compete for the best male artist category.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Winky D’s manager Jonathan Banda saluted the fans for being supportive.
“We really appreciate this nomination, it is the strength that comes from Zimbabwe, it’s the strength that comes from Dzimbadzemabwe. It’s coming out from the children who sucked the breast of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We recognise the appreciation and without them (fans) there is nothing that could have happened. We thank them (fans) for the love and support, we bow in front of them for the love they have shown us from the beginning. We want to continue to ask for their support and recognition in our future endeavours.”
Banda added that the nomination showed that their message in their compositions was resonating with Zimbabweans.
Jah Prayzah took to Twitter to celebrate his nomination and urged his fans to vote for him.
“Team JP your support for the works is being recognised out there. We have a nomination for top entertainer at the @aeausa. The nomination in itself is a win. Go and vote on their website aeausa.net,” he said.
According to the awards organisers, the voting process for the nominees is currently underway on the website www.aeausa.net.
“The moment Africa has been waiting for: 2020 aeausa nominees are officially out. We want to thank our fans for their input in selecting the best entertainers around the globe. Now is time to vote: who will be winners?” said in a social media post.
According to the organisers’ website, their mission is to use entertainment as a platform to unite African globally while addressing the big five agendas — health, education, economy, security and infrastructure.
“The African Entertainment Awards, USA (AEAUSA) believes that tomorrow we will celebrate a New Africa. Because we choose today to create a one Africa. Our mission is to use entertainment as a vehicle to support, celebrate, promote, and uplift the achievements and advancements of all Africans and Africans in the diaspora through all entertainment forms.”
“We use entertainment as a platform, to showcase an Africa that is united, self-sufficient, and willing and able to evoke social change that matters most in the communities of Africans and Africans in the Diaspora world-wide. Our vision is to create a New Africa; One Africa.”