Clowns push for Nama recognition

HARARE - Harare-based clown Fungai Takodza, popularly known as Ajigija, is yearning for National Arts Merit Award (Nama) recognition.

Nama honours outstanding artists on February 14 at 7 Arts in Harare.

The 43-year-old Takodza is pushing for organisers of the annual awards to include a category for clowns.

He argued passionately that they view themselves as artistes.

“If Nama is not recognising us as artists, so where do we belong?” asked Takodza.

A clown is a buffoon or jester who entertains by jokes, antics, and tricks in a circus, play, or other presentation.

Clowns usually wear outlandish costumes and make-up and pantomimes common situations in exaggerated fashion, often also juggling and tumbling among others.

Takodza told the Daily News that he has worked hard to develop the clown industry in Zimbabwe and the industry now boasts of over a hundred members.

“I am the original Ajigija and I think that this is the right time for the arts mother body to take us seriously as its members,” Takodza said.

“When I started clowning around 1993, the industry was small but now I have competitors hence I believe this is the right time to be considered as artists under platforms such as Nama,” he said.

They are nine Nama categories — Music, Literary, Dance, Visual, Film and Television, Theatre, Media, Spoken Word and Special Awards.

Clowns are pushing for the introduction of a special category maybe in form of ‘Outstanding Clown’

Nama is the forum where National Arts Council of Zimbabwe recognises outstanding achievements within the arts sector.

By rewarding excelling artists, Nama stimulates more interest in the arts and raises the profile of the same.

The awards are a means of encouraging creativity and excellence in the quality of the arts.

In addition, the awards aim to inspire artists to strive for higher and original forms of creativity and provide an opportunity for arts disciplines to jointly market and publicise the arts locally, regionally and internationally.

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