By Style Reporter
This year’s edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama), set for the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) next Saturday, is a defining moment in the annual event’s 18-year history characterised by both illustrious moments and controversy.
The premium arts awards in the land hosted by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) come after the appointment of Nicholas Moyo as the new director of the statutory body late last year.
In his five-year term, which is still in its infancy, Moyo has set out a grand plan of revitalising the organisation with one of his major mandates being to give the nation prestigious Nama ceremonies.
“Nama will definitely be rebranding. By the way, we will also have a new events manager and when that happens, he comes with a different way of presentation,” the NACZ boss has told this before publication before.
Having received 1 436 entries in the past year, which is an increase from the previous edition, the organisers are aware of the high expectations that they need to satisfy to stage a memorable event.
The signs of this restructuring process could already be shaping up if the change of venue and a longer-than-usual preparation period is anything to go by.
Meanwhile, apart from general presentation of the event, however a lot of surprises are set to get people talking after the event, especially in the categories section.
This year has seen newbies take charge and dominating especially in the much-anticipated music categories, where music sensation Janet Manyowa garnered three nominations while Tamy Moyo, ExQ and Enzo Ishall salvaged two nominations each.
This is an interesting diversion from the past dominance of names like of Winky D, Jah Prayzah and Ammara brown, whose names (except Jah Prayzah, who has one nomination for his music video Dzamutsana) are absent from the list.
The inclusion of the “Artiste in the Diaspora” section under the special awards category is a first and interesting addition that could encourage celebrating foreign-based talent.
In the mix is also the honorary list where late artistes, including Oliver Mtukudzi and Dorothy Masuka, among many others, will receive posthumous recognition for their immense contribution to the music sector.
Nevertheless, as the A-listers in showbiz get ready to leave a mark on what promises to be an interesting red carpet set-up, the heavy burden of anticipation weighs on the shoulders of NACZ’s new leadership, who have a shot at rebranding completely or repeating the same template of the past.