Three-way battle for NAMA Media Award

Mbulelo Mpofu

THE National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) are around the corner and three artistic scribes are vying for the prestigious NAMA Media Award under the Outstanding Journalist — Print category. The nominees are Zimpapers’ Mthabisi ‘Ras Mthire’ Tshuma, and Alpha Media duo, Sindiso ‘Sindora’ Dube, and Sharon Zebra.

The NAMA ceremony, which is an initiative of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), will honour the best individuals and bands in the arts sector for the year 2023. The 22nd edition of the awards will take place on 24 February at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC) Hall 3, under the theme “Kwan22”, a creative rendition of Kwantuthu, the nickname of Bulawayo.

Chronicle Showbiz caught up with the three nominees who have been making waves in the arts scene with their stellar reportage. Zebra, who is a first-time nominee, said she was shocked and humbled by the recognition.

“To be honest, I am not sure how to feel. I am still in shock, but I feel incredibly humbled by the honour. Nothing compares to consistency, passion, and perseverance; I cannot even begin to count the number of times I felt like giving up due to the demands of the newsroom. However, each morning, I entered the newsroom with a fresh objective because I am driven to outperform my previous story,” she said.

Zebra, who hails from Mhondoro Mubaira, is a Radio, Television and Multi-media Production student at the Midlands State University (MSU).

Dube, on the other hand, is no stranger to the NAMA nomination, as this is his second time in the same category. He said he was excited by the national recognition and the role of the arts and showbiz industry in the 2023 election year.

“It’s an exciting feeling. A national recognition shouldn’t be taken for granted. It shows that you are doing something and you doing it right. 2023 was an election year, a busy and crazy year where everything revolves around the plebiscite,” he said.

“The arts and showbiz industry was a major player in the election matrix. Politicians found a fertile ground in the showbiz for politicking and pushing their agendas, be it from the ruling party to the opposition. Arts, artists showed they are a powerful tool to disseminate a message,” he said.

Dube, who was born and bred in Bulawayo, has won several awards in his journalistic career. He said being a nominee in his hometown was like a sweet homecoming.

The third nominee, Tshuma, is also making his NAMA debut. He said he was ecstatic and grateful for the nomination, which he attributed to hard work and consistency. He also said he was passionate about promoting the creative sector in Matabeleland region.

“I’m ecstatic about the nomination taking note that these awards look at journalists from all corners of the nation and to be named among the best three scribes in 2023 is surely a blessing to me. I owe this nomination to hard work and consistency. Ever since I started writing entertainment news, it has been my wish/desire/goal to ensure I make a difference to the careers of creative in Matabeleland region.

“Winning the award will not be my win but one for all the creative I have worked with. It is my wish that Matabeleland creative to stop whining, smell the coffee and grab opportunities. They should start branding and collaborating within the region and not shy to grow beyond their towns and cities,” he said.

The three nominees will have to wait until February 24 to find out who will walk away with the coveted NAMA Media Award. Will it be Dube’s second time lucky, Zebra’s rookie triumph, or Tshuma’s crowning glory? Only time will tell.

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