Zima in virtual celebration of voices

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

ORGANISERS of the annual PPC Zimbabwe-sponsored Zimbabwe Music Awards 2021 (Zima) yesterday said they had agreed with their partners to go ahead with the awards ceremony virtually in accordance with the COVID-19 restrictions.

There was hope that the current national lockdown would have been eased so that guests would be able to attend the ceremony next week at Newlands Country Club in Harare.

Artistes across genres are set to be honoured for their creativity and prowess at the awards ceremony to be held virtually under the theme Celebrating Voices.

The awards spokesperson Benjamin Nyandoro yesterday said the ceremony would be streamed live at 8pm on February 20 on the Zima Facebook page, among other music and entertainment-related digital platforms.

“Going virtual will afford music fans and followers to connect to the prestigious event from wherever they are at their convenience.

“We invite all stakeholders, particularly the musicians beyond those nominated, to connect and join the celebrations,” he said.

“Our esteemed partners have further pledged to afford their respective customers a treat with exciting giveaways on the day.

“Zima 2021 will also be streaming on all our partners’ Facebook pages.”

Nyandoro said the year 2020 tested the music sector beyond measure.

“Though it may be regarded as a tight race, we take it that the year 2020 was a year for creatives.

“We had a torrid time arriving at four names shortlisted per category out of 1 235 submissions,” he said.

“We have given deserving attention this far.

“The vetting team and judges did a sterling job.

“I am quite impressed with the nominees, I believe they are a true reflection of the year for creatives.”

Nyandoro said for this year’s edition, they introduced an interesting model which ensured that all interested artistes conveniently submitted their works.

“Established and budding talents have released music this year, more promoters have emerged and new digital platforms enabled our music to be exported beyond.

“We look forward to an interesting awards night,” he said.

Nyandoro said the number of submissions warranted a befitting awards ceremony.

“Lockdown also came with a lot of time for creativity, great stuff.

“We had some categories with over 70 submissions and we have to shortlist five nominees,” he said.

“The following awards — Retro 1, Retro 2, and Lifetime Achievement — have no nominations as they will be announced on the night of the awards.”

Dancehall singers Poptain, Jah Master and Nutty O are dominating the list of nominees with four nominations each.

The last edition had budding Afro-pop artiste Isheanesu “Ishan” Chigagura as the biggest winner of the night after he scooped three gongs (the Best Male Artiste of the Year, the Best Newcomer and the Best Afro-pop Musician) at a ceremony held at the Country Club in Newlands, Harare.

The late Chiwoniso Maraire and Simon Chimbetu posthumously won the Zimbabwe Icon Retro Artiste Award while Andy Brown clinched the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Follow Winstone on Twitter @widzoanto

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