Who will take the trophy at the Namas?

Tafadzwa Zimoyo T V Column
With the National Arts Merit Awards around the corner, it is clear that the artistes who were nominated in the race for the coveted gongs are anxiously waiting to see if they will scoop the gongs. On the other hand, fans will also be keeping their fingers crossed, while praying that their artistes will win. It promises to be a thrilling event for those who will be able to attend the prize-giving ceremony at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare this Saturday.

Since it is our own “Oscars”, it will certainly be an occasion to remember.

The excitement on Saturday will also extend to television viewers who will get the chance to view the proceedings in the comfort of their homes.

Yes, it is the biggest awards season on the Zimbabwean calendar.

The Namas come at a time after the world’s biggest musical awards, the Grammy Awards that were held in Los Angeles, US last Sunday and to those who were lucky enough to follow the ceremony on TV — really enjoyed themselves — thanks to live streaming by some international channels.

Congratulations to Adele, who walked away the biggest winner in a night that was punctuated with thrills and surprises.

Namas will afford local viewers an opportunity to compare and contrast our own awards night with the Grammies.

While it is a fact that the Grammy awards are big and better, it is, however, a big consolation to know that the Namas are somehow improving and moving into that zone where they will soon be able to match and compete with international events on the same platform.

Viewers will be out to see who among the list of nominees especially those first-timers at the Nama will make big upsets for the popular artistes, who are often expected to win.

Unlike the Grammies which had five finalists in each category, Nama has three and that figure is not bad considering that this year the process witnessed a decrease in the number of submissions.

One television viewer who is an ardent reader of this column made an observation that I thought of sharing with other readers:

“I have been following the Namas with great interest for a long time now and what I have observed from the Outstanding Screen Production — Full Length Film category is that there seems to be a mix of drama series and film and the same also applies to the Film and Television Awards.

“How do they come up with nominations for actors who belong to different classifications of acting, for instance, and how do they compare a drama series with a film?” noted the viewer and reader.

Meanwhile, Cathrine Mthombeni, who is Nama’s marketing and communications manager, urged members of the public to keep on voting for an artiste of their choice in this year’s People’s Choice Award category.

“Send the artiste’s name to this Whatsapp number 0713060504. The syntax is #NAMA — ARTISTE NAME.”

The artiste with the most votes will be awarded at the awards ceremony.

As the name suggests the People’s Choice Award is given to an individual/institution that would have received the most votes from members of the public.

The public is at liberty to select an artiste of their choice from the Nama categories of music, literary arts, dance, visual arts, film and television, theatre and spoken word.”

In order to reach out to a wider audience, Nama should also have used the TV platform to publicise the People’s Choice Award.

However, critics said the decrease in entries for this year’s edition is a clear pointer to how some artistes are beginning to lose faith in the awards. According to the observers, it seems the organisers are failing to come up with new ways of generating and sustaining interests among artistes.

“Gone are the days when entering one’s work into the Namas was worth losing sleep over, especially when one was nominated. But now, it seems the lustre is wearing off which has probably resulted in artistes losing interest in the awards ceremony,” noted one of the observers who follows this column.

He added that it might be because Nama enjoys a monopoly in that area and if there were two or three competitors, maybe things would change.

However, ardent followers of Nama are already anticipating a fun-filled weekend.

Below is a list of nominees under the film, television and outstanding music Video nominations:

Outstanding Actress

Jesesi Mungoshi in “Muzita Rababa”

Charlene Mangweni in “Conflicts”

Donna Ncube in “Insuku Zokucina”

Outstanding Actor

Ishmael Muvingi in “Insuku Zokucina”

Anthony Tongani in “Conflicts”

Admire Kuzhangaira in “Muchaneta”

Outstanding Music Video

“MaObama” by Walter Chawota ft. Takura Shonhai

“Mari Yangu” by Nico Abote ft. Eve Kawadza

“Zino Irema” (Ndirikukuwonai Zvangu) by Andy ‘Cutta’ Sobhuza ft. Takura

Outstanding Screen Production (TV)

Simba Savannah directed by Tommy Deuschle

The Arthur C Evans Show directed by Trey Ncube

Tiriparwendo directed by Aaron Chiundura Moyo

Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film

“All We Need” directed by Mhle Nzima

“Seiko” directed by Sydney Taivavashe

“The Way It Is directed” by Daniel Lasker

Outstanding Screen

Production — Full Length Film

“Muzita Rababa” directed by Nick Zemura

“Mwanasikana 2” directed by Beauty Nakai Tsuro

“Escape” directed by Joe Njagu (and Agnieszka Piotrowska)

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