NAMA reaches fever pitch…Mambo Dhuterere dominates nominees

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Report by Christina De Klerk

  • Jah Prayzah to perform
  • Hollywood style event expected

ALL roads lead to the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) for the potentially explosive 19th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) to be held Saturday.

This year’s edition comes with a difference,as they have opened doors to the  public for the first time in five years.

The organisers have promised a Hollywood style red carpet event by hosting a pre-party for the nominees at Jameson Hotel in Harare  Friday evening in a prelude to the grand event.

Speaking at a media briefing Wednesday, Nama Executive Producer Napoleon Nyanhi, said the event is going to be a classy one and he is looking forward to the guests rising up to the occasion and an  effort to ‘dress to kill’.

The event will be graced by top Zimbabwean musicians such as Alick Macheso, Jah Prayzah, Prudence Katomeni Mbofana, Freeman, Ammara Brown, Vabati Vajehova and a whole host of great Zimbabwean artistes.

 The organisers are on a mission   to promote and celebrate the local music and arts industry as they are the main focus of the event and it’s evidently their time to shine.

The NAMA event has come shortly after a series of awards ceremonies in Zimbabwe such as the Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA), The Zimdancehall awards  and The Star FM Music awards. 

 National Arts Council of Zimbabwe deputy director Josiah Kusena stated that the Nama entity is not in competition with any of the aforementioned bodies but  they are rather a much needed force required to push the Nama agenda forward.

 “For us we see these sub sectors of the arts as a good development and we encourage them to regularly host such occasions and compete amongst themselves so they can continue to grow but when it comes to the Nama which is the crème de la crème of the arts in this country, we want to see perfection,” he added.

The director of Jacaranda Culture and media Corporation Zivanayi Ke Zhao said he is honoured to be part of the event organising team and it is his desire to see Zimbabwe adhering to international best practice. 

 He also emphasised the importance of big corporates to take part in sponsoring such events, not to help NAMA but for the benefit of the artists. “who build up the soul of Zimbabwe”.

 “To me Nama is not just an awards ceremony but actually a soul of Zimbabweans because when we talk about a nation’s culture and arts, that’s your souls as it defines who we are as a nation,” he added. 

The National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) is the premier award given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts and culture. The inaugural NAMA was held in February 2002 honouring artists who excelled in 2001. 

Since then, NAMA award ceremonies have been held in February of each year to recognise artists who would have excelled in the previous year. NAMA has reviewed its categories for the 15th Edition and beyond after carrying some country wide consultative forums.

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