HARARE - Serial award-winner Jah Prayzah and Zimdancehall stars Winky D and Killer T are well-positioned to walk away with several accolades at the 15th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) to be held tonight at 7 Arts Theatre.
Jerusarema singer Jah Prayzah, who tops the nomination list with four, is on course to repeat the impressive haul of four awards that he scooped at the 13th Nama edition held in Bulawayo two years ago.
At the colourful 2014 Nama ceremony, the Uzumba-born musician claimed gongs in the Outstanding Male Musician, Outstanding Album, Outstanding Song and People’s Choice categories.
Jah Prayzah, who was given $2 000 for winning the four awards, capped an exceptional night by also winning the People’s Choice Award that was voted for by music fans.
His video for the song Mwanasikana made by Willard Magombedze also scooped the Outstanding Music Video award.
Though Jah Prayzah tops the Nama nominations chart, he faces serious competition from Winky D and Killer T who were nominated three times.
Interestingly, the three artistes are competing against each other in the Outstanding Male Musician, Outstanding Album and Outstanding Song categories.
In the Outstanding Album category Jah Prayzah’s Jerusarema is up against Winky D’s Gafa Life and Killer T’s Ngoma Ndaimba.
The Uzumba-born musician’s Eriza, Winky D’s Disappear and Killer T’s Tiri Kuda Kumbofarawo are all in contention for the Outstanding Song gong.
Nama organisers have lined up a wide array of performers, including the Huntertones, an American band from Brooklyn, New York.
The American group, which performed at Spook House in Msasa last night and which gained fame for blending jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and rock, will share the stage with Hope Masike, Tariro “Negitare” Chaniwa, Dereck Mpofu, Mono Mukundu and Patience Musa.
Other performers on the night will be comedian Doc Vikela, Chipawo and Lyfstyle Dance Group as well as Cal-vin ,who is also known as Dat Luveve boy.
In a statement released on Thursday, organisers revealed that the award winners will be selected from 105 nominees.“
“This year, nominees are coming from Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland, Midlands, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland East, Masvingo and Mashonaland West.
“Recognition will be from the following eight 15th Nama categories that are music, literary arts, dance, visual arts, film and television, theatre, media and spoken word.
“Also special awards will be given, that pay tribute to individuals and institutions that have made impact in the development and promotion of the arts.
“These are the National Arts Service Award, People’s Choice Award and Promoter of the Year,” read part of the statement released by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) spokesperson Cathrine Mthombeni.