Daz takes Nama head-on

HARARE - Dancers Association of Zimbabwe (Daz) has slammed the annual National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) for turning a blind eye to their success stories.

The association through its president Hapaguti “Harpers” Mapimhidze told the Daily News that they are ready to pull out of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, the country’s arts mother body, who are behind the annual awards if they continue shutting them out of the awards.

Since the formation of dancers association which is made up of dancers such as Beverly Sibanda, Zoey Sifelani, Patricia “Wasu Dacoda” Makwame and David “Apama Styles” Machowa among others, none of them has been nominated for a Nama, a development which has angered Mapimhidze.

“So you are telling me all dancers under Daz hapana anokwana pama nominations eDance category for all these years?

“Our dancers have been submitting entries but no consideration. You are telling me dancers like Wasu, Bev, Fearless, Zoey, Pramastove among others are not good enough to make it to Nama?” Mapimhidze queried.

The Daz president went on to profile Sibanda’s achievements in the dance industry to justify his point.

“Bev was invited by Koffi Olomide to feature on his video; she won as the best dancer African Storm for two years. Daz is member of National Arts Council but no recognition zvazonyanya.  Regai tiite zvedu (Enough is enough. It is better we do our own thing),” he said.

Arts critic Tawonga Mafundikwa told this publication that it is high time Nama recognises dancers from Daz.

“They have a genuine concern, their type of dance falls under arts just like any other forms of dance. They deserve due recognition,” Mafundikwa said.

“Fans throng to venues to watch them perform and to me that is a clear sign that people love what they are doing hence their cry for recognition is genuine. They have a very strong case there.”

Alouis Sagota, a cultural critic and activist said Daz’s cry is invalid.

“It is not valid from a personal point of view. As a country we have to define what constitute legitimate categories of award deserving performances.

“From a long-term policy perspective what would be the outcome of such award category for the young generation.

“Of what heritage value is that type of dance going to add to national identity. Deviance cannot be defined as dance from a personal point of view,” said Sagota.

This year’s edition of Nama is scheduled for Reps Theatre, Harare on February 17.

The awards’ nominations are dominated by Jah Prayzah who has been nominated in three categories this year.

Jah Prayzah is in the running for Outstanding Male Artiste, Outstanding Album and Outstanding Song gongs thanks to his latest album Kutonga Kwaro.

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