HARARE - Music star Jah Prayzah will be the headline performer at the 16th National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) to be held on Saturday at the 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale, Harare.
The Jerusarema singer, will share the stage with ex-Iyasa member Nomathamsanqa “Nkwali” Mkhwananzi who won the Best Acapella Award at the 2016 Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima).
The awards nights will also be illuminated by performances from 2015 Dreamstar winner beatboxer Takudzwa “Probeatz” Mashonganyika, Airforce percussion artists, Shabach Entertainment, M & M Dance Factory, ProBeats and Chipawo.
In a bid to spice up the event, Nama organisers have appointed multi- award winning comedian Carl Joshua Ncube as the host.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) communications officer Cathrine Mthombeni said 95 nominees have been considered for this year’s edition.
“A total of 35 winners will walk away with the coveted gold-plated Nama trophy. This year, nominees are from Harare, Bulawayo, Manicaland, Matabeleland South, and Masvingo.
“Recognition will be from the following categories — music, literary arts, dance, visual arts, film and television, theatre, media and spoken word,” said Mthombeni.
In addition to the main categories, Nama will also pay special tribute to individuals and institutions that have made an impact in the development and promotion of the arts through special awards.
The special awards on offer this year include the National Arts Service Award, Arts Personality Award and Promoter of the Year.
Jah Prayzah, who is in the running for Outstanding Male Artiste, Outstanding Album and Outstanding Song gongs, thanks to his latest album Mdara Vachauya, is the top-placed nominee.
The MTV Africa Music Awards (Mama) winner is closely followed by Winky D, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and Ammara Brown who are sitting on two nominations.
Winky D will battle it out for the Outstanding Male Artiste gong with Jah Prayzah and rising Zim hip-hop artiste Takura Shonai while his album Gafa Futi has been nominated for the Outstanding Album Award along with Fungisai’s Huya Uone Zvaakuitika and Jah Prayzah’s Mdara Vachauya.
The battle for this year’s Outstanding Female Musician Award pits Fungisai, Ammara and young Thamsanqa “Tamy” Moyo.
Killer T’s song Takangodaro, a favourite of many last year, has been nominated alongside Mukoko by Tytan (featuring Ammara Brown) and Mdhara Vachauya by Jah Prayzah in the Outstanding Song category.
Other categories to look forward to include the Outstanding Actress Award which features nominees Jesesi Mungoshi (Muzita Rababa),Charlene Mangweni (Conflicts) and Donna Ncube (Insuku Zokucina).
Muchaneta actor Admire Kuzhangaira has been nominated along with Ishmael Muvingi (Insuku Zokucina) and Anthony Tongani (Conflicts).