Music awards must be professional

HARARE - Following the recent unveiling of award categories by both the revived Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) and the newly-created Wene Music Awards, Zimbabwean musicians have every reason to be hopeful that a new positive era is on the brink.

Predictably, Zimbabwean musicians will also be hoping that the music awards, both set to take place in October, will be characterised by professionalism and fairness.

Over the years, the absence of clear categories has created endless arguments on whether winners of the various music awards indeed belonged to categories in which they were honoured.

Other contentious issues have been the lack of clear-cut rules and regulations governing music awards and in some instances the failure by organisers to uphold principles they would have spelt out before accepting entries.

History tells us that having clear rules and regulations for arts awards is one thing but enforcing them is another matter.

We hope the announcement of Zima and Wene award winners in October will for once be widely accepted by both musicians and music fans.

However, the announcement by Zima organisers that their awards this year would not be accompanied by cash prizes was generally not welcomed by a significant number of musicians.

The push for cash prizes by some artistes could force Zima to change their stance in future.

If indeed that becomes the case, the credibility of the awards would be key. No sponsor would want to be associated with awards with a questionable adjudication process.

The two awards have an opportunity to start their gongs on a professional note. We have been encouraged by the calibre of the judges that have been roped in by the Wene Music Awards.

The board chaired by Book Cafe founder Paul Brickhill includes seasoned academic Fred Zindi, Oliver Mtukudzi’s former manager, Debbie Metcalfe, film industry professional, Nigel Munyati, documentary filmmaker and actress Joyce Jenje Makwenda and Albert Nyathi, a poet, actor, musician, arts advocate and administrator.

The Wene adjudication panel is indeed full of professionals with diverse knowledge in our music industry.

If the judges apply themselves, there is no reason why they shouldn’t deliver credible winners.

For the sake of Zimbabwean music which has suffered immensely due to rampant piracy, we just hope that this high profile jury will demonstrate that professionalism pays.

Hopefully, the Zima adjudication panel that is still  to be announced will also be made up of people of integrity with unquestionable credentials in the music industry.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.