Deemed the biggest arts award convergence platform on the land, the 19th edition of National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) turned the tables from a mediocre event despised by celebrities to the grand ceremony of glitz and glam that attracted most big names in showbiz.
Last year’s edition was a small fish affair which saw even the nominated big names like Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, ExQ and Winky D snubbing the award ceremony.
However, this edition turned out to be an aura of class and perfect coordination which won back the NAMA’ prestige, honour and respect.
One of the most commendable things that this year’s NAMA did was to undo the imbalance that characterise several if not all local should-be-national-award ceremonies that turn out to be Harare based events turning a blind eye to art progressions down West in Bulawayo and other towns.
This year’s edition saw a rare sight of up to 10 artists from Bulawayo walking away winners while the event looked to reach out to all Zimbabweans with its coverage in eight local languages.
There was also limited sound, stage precision blips which had grown to characterise most local events over the years which also something to commend.
Then as promised, the motivation tool to dressing on point for Zimbabwean guests who sometimes feel comfortable for dressing out of context, the red carpet. It came down like an avalanche going for a 30 metres stretch.
This was arguably the biggest improvement from countless NAMA editions where after expecting lightning and thunder prior to the event one is welcomed by a three metres stretch of red carpet.
Zimbabweans are quite known from dressing out of contest, we just don’t like dressing in accordance to the event. But this edition rewrote the books, we dressed to kill!!!! Although there will always be some bad apples generally everyone looked beautiful.
While the better part of NAMA was positive, there is need for improvement when it comes to characters that present awards. A well practised scripted speech would be of great use in doing away with bloopers and awkward moments Madam Boss had on stage.
Below is the list of winners…
Outstanding Newcomer– Ishan
Outstanding Female Musician– Tamy Moyo
Outstanding Male Musician– Ti Gonzi
Outstanding Song- ‘Kure’ – Ishan ft. Ti Gonzi
Outstanding Album– Uhuru – Willis Wataffi
Outstanding Music Video– ‘Sunshine City’ – Flying Bantu
Outstanding Fiction Book- Out of Darkness, Shining Light – Petina Gappah
Outstanding Children’s Book- Songs of the Little Creature – Phumulani Chipandambira
Outstanding First Creative Published Book– A People’s Fight – Fradreck Hombiro
Outstanding Female Dance–Dadirai Mupandawana – Ezimnyama Dance Group
Outstanding Male Dancer– Selemani Mpochi – Ochestra Mberikwazvo
Outstanding Actress– Charmaine Mudau – Another Wedding
Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series)– Muzita Rababa – Shem Zemura
Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film– Redefining the Road – Tapiwa Gambira
Outstanding Mix Media Work- Distorted History – Anthony Bumhira
Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work– Cyclone Idai where is Mommy? – Calvin Chimutuwah
Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work– Tribute to the mother of generations – Stanley Mutanga
Outstanding Exhibition- Pieces for Peace, Pieces, Revolutionary Freshness – Talent Kapadza & Schuma Herscovitz
Outstanding Journalist (Print)– Tafadzwa Kachiko – Newsday
Outstanding Journalist (TV)– Masceline Bondamakara – ZBC
Outstanding Journalist Radio
Anesu Masamvu – ZiFM
Yvonne Tivatye – Star FM
Thulani Munyandu – National FM
Outstanding Online Media- Zimbojam
Outstanding Comedian– Long John
Outstanding Poet– Sithembile Siqhoza Ndebele
Outstanding Actor (Film and TV)– Percy Soko – Mandla
Outstanding Actress (Film and TV)– Antoinette Sango – Mandla
Outstanding Screen Production (TV)–Mandla – Solomon Mandaza
Outstanding Screen Production (Short Film)– Redefining the Road – Tapiwa Gambura
Outstanding Screen Production (Full-length Film)– Stay with Me – Nick Zemura
Artist in the Diaspora– Vusa Mkhaya
Outstanding Promoter of the Year– D & G Promotions
Personality of the Year– Nobuntu
Service to the Arts Award– Solomon Guramatunhu
Lifetime Achievement Award– Stella Chiweshe
People’s Choice Award– Winky D