Winky D, Jah Prayzah reign supreme again

HARARE - Just like they did last year, music stars Winky D and Jah Prayzah took home two National Arts Merit Awards (Nama)  gongs apiece on Saturday night at 7 Arts Theatre in Harare.

Serial award-winner Jah Prayzah landed the Outstanding Song Award for the hit Mdhara Vachauya in addition to retaining the Outstanding Male Musician Award.

The Ninja President, Winky D, who once again proved his popularity by winning the People’s Choice Award for the second year running, also picked up the Outstanding Album Award for Gafa Futi.

Jah Prayzah and Winky D were joined on the winners’ podium by Ammara Brown who won her first Outstanding Female Musician Award after coming out tops in a competitive category which also included Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave and rising songstress Thamsanga “Tamy” Moyo.

Saturday night also turned out to be a special one for Savanna Trust’s play titled Liberation which won three awards out of the four dedicated to the theatre category.

Liberation’s Rumbidzai Karize walked away with the Outstanding Actress Award while her colleague on the play Everson Ndlovu landed the Outstanding Actor gong.

To cap a wonderful night, Liberation was also accorded the Outstanding Theatrical Production Award.

The only other winner from outside the Liberation camp was Matesu Dube who took home the Outstanding Director Award for the play Warrior written by Christopher Mlalazi.

   If ever anyone wanted proof that the Mungoshis are indeed the royal family of Zimbabwean arts, then he or she should have been at the Nama ceremony where veteran actress Jesesi Mungoshi and her son Farai both copped awards.

Jesesi, who acts as the bishop’s wife in the ZBC-TV series Muzita Rababa, took home the Outstanding Actress Award while Farai walked away with the Outstanding First Creative Published Works Award for his book Behind the Wall Everywhere.

But as has become the norm since the Nama was inaugurated in 2001, this year’s edition had its fair dose of controversy.

The award that stirred the most uproar was the Outstanding Screen Production (Full Length) handed to the ZBC-TV series Muzita Rababa which shrugged off the challenge of Escape and Mwanasikana2.

Nama judge Ben Mahaka has defended the choice of Muzita Rababa which he claimed was submitted to the Nama adjudication team as a feature film and not as a series.

“So there is a huge discussion going on about Muzita Rababa, the 65-minute feature film that won Outstanding Full Length Film because people who have watched the TV series that it spawned, but haven’t watched the film that was submitted to Nama feel that it should be defined as a TV series… but you know when axes start to grind our culture is to jump into the fray no matter how uninformed we are about the underlying facts,” Mahaka wrote on Facebook.

Then was the host of the awards, award-winning comedian Carl Joshua Ncube, whose acerbic tongue did not spare anyone including the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, the Shona, the Ndebele and religious leaders like Emmanuel Makandiwa.

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