Nama set for February 18

HARARE - Artists from diverse fields submitted a total of 775 entries for the 16th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) to be held at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare on February 18.

According to the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz), the organisers of the awards, the nominations were received in eight Nama categories which include music, literary arts, dance, visual arts, film and television, theatre, media and spoken word.

“Nominees will be released on the 2nd of February 2017. Those who submitted entries include production houses, studios, music stables, galleries, arts organisations and associations, groups, artists, and monitors,” said Nacz communications officer Cathrine Mthombeni in a statement.

In addition to the eight categories, Mthombeni added that there would three special awards.

“The two special awards are the Arts Service Award and Arts Personality Award. There is also the People’s Choice Award which will won by an artist who gets voted by most people through a platform that will be announced soon,” she said, adding that the Nacz will play no part in determining the nominees.

“A panel of independent adjudicators is now presiding over all the submitted entries to select nominees as well as winners for each award.

“Some of the entries in the mentioned Nama categories were identified by monitors who were appointed by Nacz and kept an eye on excelling artists throughout the year,” said the Nacz spokesperson.

At the 15th edition of Nama, also held 7 Arts Theatre, music stars Jah Prayzah and Winky D, along with New Zealand-based playwright Stanley Makuwe, picked up two Nama gongs apiece.

Jah Prayzah walked away with the Outstanding Album Award for Jerusarema in addition to the Outstanding Male Musician accolade while the Ninja president Winky D took home the Outstanding Song Award for Disappear as well as the People’s Choice Award.

It was also a night to remember for highly-rated theatre playwright and director Makuwe, who won both his awards thanks to his liberation war play Chimbwido the Girl of War that premiered in Zimbabwe late last year.

Another big winner on the night was music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi’s daughter Selmor who took the Outstanding Female Musician accolade.

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