Zima must keep promises

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) ceremony is expected to be held early next year but before then we hope the organisers of the annual event would have delivered on the promises they made at the 2014 edition.

Then, under the full glare of the media, Zima gave a house under construction to musician and liberation war hero Dick Chingaira, better known as Comrade Chinx, in recognition of his contribution to Zimbabwe’s music and the liberation struggle.

But more than a year after the high-profile honour, the house remains incomplete. In fact, the house remains largely in the same state it was when Zima took journalists there in October last year.

Early this week, rather refreshingly, Zima officials conceded that they were too ambitious when they promised to build a house for Comrade Chinx in less than six months.

While we should applaud Zima for candidly admitting their error of judgment, we should equally censor them for their naivety and, more critically, for taking their promises for granted.

Nothing boosts the credibility of an organisation more than a history of well-kept promises. In the same vein, nothing will undermine the reputation of an organisation faster than a string of broken commitments.

The music awards organisation appears to have a penchant for spectacular promises. They recently, rather controversially, 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 35 years ago.

We just hope that for the sake of their credibility they will fulfil their promise of bringing to Zimbabwe at least a member of the late reggae icon’s family to attend the Zima awards ceremony. Hopefully, the Zima organisers have fully taken into consideration the costs of making this happen.

If they, by their own admission, are failing to gather the necessary resources to complete Comrade Chinx’s house, we wonder how they are going to finance the costly exercise of bringing the Marley family to Zimbabwe.

Zima could be unwittingly setting another credibility trap for themselves.

If they fail to deliver the Marleys or a Marley, that will obviously make people view them as an organisation built on a string of broken commitments.

Given the forgoing, the Zima organisers have no choice but to ensure that they deliver both Comrade Chinx’s house and the Marleys without fail, otherwise the little gains they have made since bouncing back last year after a seven-year absence will fizzle away.

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