Nama judges unmasked

HARARE - In Zimbabwe, just like elsewhere in the world, awards entice a lot of scrutiny due to the divergent views on who should be honoured and more importantly the criteria that should determine laureates.

Given the fact that the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) are the country’s only multidisciplinary arts gongs it is not surprising that they generate a lot of controversy year after year.

One issue that has dogged the Namas over the years is the need for the adjudication panel that selects winners to be made public.

In a welcome move, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), organisers of Nama, listed the 24 judges of the 14th edition of the awards that took place on February 14 at 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale.

Below is the list of the adjudication panel:

Albert Nyathi
Nyathi is a renowned poet-cum-musician who has been in the arts industry for over 20 years. He once worked for NACZ as a publications officer. He is the current chairperson of the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura) board.

Ben Mahaka
He is a veteran a filmmaker, producer, actor, and director who is perhaps known for playing the role of Tom Mbambo in Zimbabwe’s first soapie Studio 263.

Brian Geza
Geza is a choreographer and dancer who is the founder and current artistic director of Zvishamiso Arts, a dance, music and theatre troupe based in Mbare. He won the Nama Outstanding Choreographer award in 2013. He was once a dancer in the Tumbuka Dance Company.

Chirikure Chirikure
He is a renowned poet, songwriter and writer. His poetry books have received various awards in Zimbabwe. His first poetry volume titled Rukuvhute received an honourable mention in the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa in 1990.

Clive Mono Mukundu
Mono is a musician and owner of Monolio Studios where he produces some of the country’s best musicians.

Either as a guitarist or producer, he has featured in more than 800 projects by Zimbabwean and regional artistes.

These include Oliver Mtukudzi, Celebration Choir, Kudzai Sevenzo, Transit Crew, the Zambian trio of Mau Mwale, Jane Zangi and Osborne as well as South African musicians Lufuno Dagada and Albertina.

Daniel Maphosa
Maphosa is a veteran actor who is better known as the director of Savannah Trust, a theatre house that has created some of Zimbabwe’s most popular films.

Doris Kampira
She is a visual artist and veteran arts instructor.

Ethel Kabwato
Ethel, a trained teacher, is one of Zimbabwe’s rising female poets. She was part of the Crossing Borders Project, an online mentoring project that was jointly managed by Lancaster University and the British Council.

Ignatius Mabasa
Mabasa is an award-winning novelist, performing poet and storyteller. Some of his poems have been published in anthologies that include Tipeiwo Dariro and Muchinokoro Kunaka. He penned the satirical novel Mapenzi that won the Zimbabwe Book Publishers’ Association award in 1999.

Josephine Muganiwa
Josephine is a writer and board chairperson of Writers International Network (Win). She is also a lecturer in the department of English at the University of Zimbabwe.

Lickel Ndebele
She is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe in the department of African Languages and Literature.

Lwazi Tshabangu
Tshabangu is a mbaqanga, maskanda, jazz musician and sound engineer.

Matthew Takaona
A journalist by profession, Takaona sits on the board of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. He is a former president of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists.

Nehemiah Chivandikwa
Nehemiah is an actor and respected player in the Zimbabwe theatre industry.

Patience Tavengwa
Tavengwa is a film producer, playwright and director. She co-directs Almasi — a Zimbabwean American Dramatic Arts Collaborative Organisation — with Hollywood-based Zimbabwean actress Danai Gurira.

Peter Muparutsa
He is a musician-cum-producer and one of the two surviving members of Mutare music group, The Runn Family.

Polisile Ncube
Ncube is the director of the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association (Zimura).

Professor Saki Mafundikwa
He is the founder and director of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (Ziva), a graphic design and new media training college. He received most of his arts education in Zimbabwe and in the United States of America (USA) at the Indiana University and Yale University. He is a graphic designer, art director, design instructor and non-fiction writer.

Rumbidzai Katedza
She is an acclaimed filmmaker who has worked with different artists from around the world. Her film credits include Danai (2002) for which she was nominated for best director at the National Arts Merit Awards, the award-winning Asylum (2007), Tariro (2008) and Big House, Small House (2009). Her full length feature film Playing Warriors was released in 2011.

Stephen Garan’anga
He is a multimedia visual artist.

Vimbai Chemugarira
Vimbai is the director of the Academy of Music and Dance in Harare.

Virginia Muwanigwa
She is the director of the Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre (Hifc). She has worked with several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in various capacities.

Caroline Hungwe
She is a former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation producer and editor. She is a communications officer at the Zimbabwe office of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Justice Dhliwayo
He is a former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings head of national productions.

Comments (4)

With due respect, if the names of the judges were officially published that's not exactly UNMASKING, which is what you imply in your heading. I know you want people to read your stories, but please don't trick us.

YemenPapaT - 23 February 2015

Shouldnt the judges be the public anyway?

Zandile MAsuku - 25 February 2015

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