Byo Arts Awards rev up preparations

BULAWAYO - Organisers of the inaugural Bulawayo Arts Awards say preparations for the gongs set to be held on June 30 at the Large City Hall are going accordingly.

Raisedon Baya, one of organisers of the awards, said they were happy with the support they are getting from stakeholders in preparation for the event.

“Preparations are at an advanced stage. The most positive response so far has come from city fathers who are supporting the initiative. The city has given the organisers free use of the Large City Hall for the awards. They are also supporting the Mayor’s award. Companies and individuals here and in the Diaspora are also chipping in,” Baya told the Daily News.

He added that the awards are meant to cement Bulawayo’s position as Zimbabwe’s cultural hub.

“As artistes from Bulawayo we believe Bulawayo and Matabeleland in general is a haven of talent. For long Bulawayo has been regarded as the cultural capital of Zimbabwe.

“The awards are meant to cement that claim. The awards are meant to put Bulawayo back at the top of Zimbabwe’s cultural ladder,” said Baya, who is also the director of the six-day Intwasa Arts Festival Ko Bulawayo.

He also said the awards were not being created to counter existing ones.

“The awards are meant to complement existing ones. With these awards, Bulawayo is seeking to recognise and promote talent and artistic effort in Bulawayo and surrounding areas.

“In fact, Bulawayo Arts Awards are not the first provincial or regional awards. For example, Kwekwe has its own awards,” he said.

The inaugural Bulawayo Arts Awards will feature genres such as music, dance, film, spoken word, theatre, fashion, visual art, literary arts and media.

“The deadline for submission is May 15 while nominees will be announced on the second week of June. We are still calling for those that believe in the initiative to come forward and support. Any kind of support is welcome,” Baya added.

In addition to Baya, the Bulawayo Arts Awards organising committee also includes Nkululeko Nkala, Saimon Mambazo and Reason Sibanda.

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