Nama explains media award reintroduction

Reacting to social media outcry on supposed snubs on some artists, Kusena said there was no snub, but the best were selected.

NATIONAL Arts Council of Zimbabwe acting director Josiah Kusena has explained why his organisation, the organisers of the prestigious National Arts and Merits Awards (Namas), had to reintroduce the media awards category.

Last year, former director Nicholas Moyo said: “We are now uplifting the award to be a special award; it is coming into the special award and will not be an independent category”

“The focus will now remain the core business of Nama, which is to award artists. That is the major change that we will see.

"We are very grateful to the various stakeholders that have been supporting Nama over the years.

“The major stakeholders or stockholders being the artists themselves since without the artists there is no Nama.”

“Those that make Nama big are the artists and they are the most important. Secondly, the art institutions, the various art organisations, art centres that incubate, train, and give platforms to artists to do their work. As well as registered promoters, we acknowledge them for the work they have continuously done," added Moyo.

However, the organisers announced the media category and its nominees amongst the various nominees for the awards ceremony set for February 24 at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo.

“The change had to be made after the adjudicators of this 22nd edition reviewed the previous position and made a new resolution, which pointed out that it is the actual reporter/ journalist who does the work on the ground, with some putting a lot of personal effort to cover the arts,” said Kusena.

“And many journalists work for more than one media house, while many are freelancers too.

“Therefore, it was more befitting to award the individuals than media house. The previous decision was then reviewed to capture the new thinking.”

Reacting to social media outcry on supposed snubs on some artists, Kusena said there was no snub, but the best were selected.

“Many artists were trending for sure, but the adjudicators are guided by the principle ´outstanding/best’,” he said.

“This is informed by many other aspects in the set criterion used in the adjudication process to determine the quality of the production considered top notch.

“Other factors are considered such as the reach of the product to demography and market breadth, as well as social impact, among many other factors.

“Several artists were shortlisted indeed, but out of that number adjudicators considered the most outstanding three based on submissions as well as identifications made through our monitors tasked to do the work throughout the year,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), the largest privately-owned media house in Zimbabwe is dominating the awards’ Print Media category.

AMH publishes NewsDay, The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent, Southern Eye and operates Heart & Soul Broadcasting Services (HStv).

Its reporters Sindiso Dube (The Standard) and Sharon Zebra (NewsDay) will battle for honours with Mthabisi Tshuma of Chronicle for the Outstanding Journalist Print category at the 22nd edition of the awards.

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