Nama unveils nominees list

HARARE - Nominees for the 16th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama), set for 7 Arts Theatre in Harare on February 18, will be released today.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) communications and marketing officer, Catherine Mthombeni, told the Daily News yesterday that the nomination list was ready.

“The nominees will be released on February 2 (today). The nominees will cover eight categories in addition to three special awards.

“The categories include music, literary arts, dance, visual arts, film and television, theatre, media and spoken word. We also have special categories which include the arts service and the arts personality awards as well as the people’s choice award which will be won by an artist who gets the most votes

In a bid to raise the awards to a higher level, Nama organisers have appointed award-winning comedian Carl Joshua Ncube as the host for the awards.

“Carl Joshua Ncube is bringing the spotlight on Zimbabwe and as a result onto the growing Zimbabwean stand-up comedy scene by his relentless drive and ambition to exude his talent to the world. Carl has performed in Australia, USA, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Ivory Coast and South Africa where he has been part of a number of festivals,” said the Nacz spokesperson.

At the last edition of Nama, also held at 7 Arts Theatre, musicians Jah Prayzah and Winky D along with New Zealand-based playwright Stanley Makuwe picked two gongs apiece.

Jah Prayzah walked away with the Outstanding Album Award for Jerusarema in addition to the Outstanding Male Musician accolade while 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 on the strength of his liberation war play Chimbwido the Girl of War that premiered in Zimbabwe late last year.

Music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi’s daughter Selmor, who landed the Outstanding Female Musician accolade, was the other big winner last year.

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