The producers of Zimbabwe’s longest running television soapie “Estate Blues”, have said the inaugural edition of the Estate Blues Merit Awards are set to be held in December and will be broadcasted live on the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
“Estate Blues” is currently on Season 17; it is screened on the local national broadcaster every Friday at 1930hrs.
The awards, which are meant to recognise and reward local actors and actresses, is set to be held on December 8 at a venue to be announced soon in Harare.
In an interview with The Herald Arts, “Estate Blues” creator and executive producer Admire Maramba said preparations for the awards ceremony were at an advanced stage.
“Estate Blues Merit Awards will be going live on ZBC on 8 December at 9pm,” he said. “Among our invited guests are Government officials as we aim to strengthen our relationship with the authorities so they can properly equip local filmmakers so they can tell the Zimbabwean story.
“It’s time we tell our Zimbabwean story, the way we want not to wait for other people to do it for us. The tourism industry is losing a lot of money each year because we are not properly telling our story, but we are saying the time is now.”
Corporates and individuals are being invited to be part of the awards ceremony, which will be celebrating local artists.
With corruption, family feuds and love in estate administration as it’s themes, the local soapie has proved to be a viable option for many.
“Estate Blues” captured the imagination of drama lovers in the country back in 2005 and made a shock return to the small screen in 2019 and has never stopped being screened.
Maramba said producing the soapie had not been a walk in the park as the local arts industry was not well supported.
“Many who had big dreams for the arts industry have fallen by the wayside because the arts sector is not well supported in Zimbabwe like it is in other countries, but we have soldiered on,” he said.
“Our new characters were brought in to spice up the soapie, and we are glad people are loving it. It has become a culture to denounce everything Zimbabwean, but when you see television viewers appreciating our works, when we are working with the few and available resources, it gives us more power and hope to keep soldiering on.
“Estate Blues has come of age and now we know that we have what it takes to produce a production that can compete with the continent’s best, thereby putting our country on the map. It’s time Zimbabwe shows the world how it’s done.”