THE 21st edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) takes place on February 25 at the Harare International Conference Centre with the adjudicators' committee confirming to have received a total of 1 266 entries.
Among the entries were 897 submitted physically while 394 were online entries.
The highest of the entries was recorded in the literary category which had 277 entries followed by film and television which had 267 submissions, visual arts had 252, music had 232, media category had 26 and diaspora had 25.
Although the chairperson for the Nama adjudicators committee Hope Masike said the overall quality of work submitted was substandard, she indicated that the number of entries was impressive.
The committee also noted that music videos and films submitted this year had improved in quality as compared to previous years.
Nama recognises outstanding achievements in the arts and culture.
This year’s edition nominees list is a potpourri of old horses and upcoming artistes, but who stands to dominate the show?
Zimdancehall sensation Freeman was nominated for the Outstanding Male Artiste and will battle for honours with Mark Ngwazi and Baba Harare.
- Shinsoman readies new album
- Ladies hockey team settles for 12th place at WC
- Hockey team eyes top 10 finish
- ‘Invest more in developing local hockey players’
The HKD boss was also nominated for the Outstanding Song for his song titled Zimbabwean Queen, which he features Jamaican Chris Martin and he is also a contestant for the Outstanding Album for the album David and Goliath.
Mark Ngwazi, who shook the sungura circles with his album Nharo Nezvine Nharo was nominated for the Outstanding Male Artiste and Outstanding Album categories.
He is also tipped to walk away a winner on the awards night.
There is also a contested territory coming through with gospel music diva Dorcas Moyo having been nominated for two categories — Outstanding Female Musician as well as Outstanding Song for her song Tirikutandara.
For the Outstanding Female Musician gong, Moyo faces stiff competition in the form of Afro-jazz musician Feli Nandi and veteran Sandra Ndebele.
Visual artist Keith Zenda is nominated twice under the visual awards, thus for the Outstanding Mixed Media and Outstanding exhibition.
Standard Style reporter Khumbulani Muleya and NewsDay Lifestyle correspondent Nyanzombe Nyampenza were nominated for the Outstanding Journalist (Print) category.
Nama nominees were selected under nine categories for works produced from December 1, 2021 to November 30, 2022.
The awards event hosts are media personalities Godfrey Chief Koti and Charlene Mangweni Furusa and musician Gemma Griffiths.
It is running under the theme "Unlocking Dreams."