Zima must host a world-class event

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima), expected to bounce back early next year, has released a list of nominees that appears to be a fair reflection of what has been taking place on the local music scene over the past year.

This is clearly a huge improvement on the last edition that generated a lot of controversy due to the fact that it was largely dominated by unheralded artistes.

Musicians and fans alike questioned how the relatively unknown musicians could get more nominations while established artistes like Jah Prayzah could only get four with Suluman Chimbetu getting just a single one.

It was not surprising that due to the absence of big names among the nominees that music rookie Cynthia Mare ended up being the biggest winner at the event, landing three awards on the strength of one song.

We hope the fairly improved nomination process will encourage the Zima organisers to work hard to create a much better awards ceremony than the shambolic event they delivered last year.

The gongs were blighted by a series of technical hiccups and shortcomings. Among other glitches, the much-hyped red carpet interviews of celebrities were totally inaudible.

Viewers, some of whom forked out as much as $75 to attend the awards ceremony, were irked by the failure by the award organisers to flight clips of nominated songs.

Once again the Zima organisers have promised another world-class ceremony and we hope for the sake of their fledgling brand they will live up to their promise.

More importantly, at last year's awards ceremony, the organisers presented an incomplete four-bedroomed house to celebrated musician Dickson "Cde Chinx" Chingaira as part of the Zima chairman's award.

Sadly, despite repeated promises, the house remains incomplete more than a year after it was handed over to him. It would be a sad indictment on Zima's credibility if the next awards take place before the completion of the house.

In a move that is likely attract international attention, Zima has awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award to late reggae music legend Bob Marley in recognition of the Jamaican star's iconic performance during Zimbabwe's first independence celebrations held at Rufaro Stadium.

If indeed family members of the late reggae icon's family attend the Zima awards ceremony as promised by the organisers, we hope they will witness an event that will generate positive publicity for the country.

But for that to happen, Zima organisers must go out of their way to put together a truly world-class event.