NAMA 2017: A Case Of An Empty Vessel?

Awards season is back the first showcase to that we will experience this year are the National Arts Merit Awards. These have been slated for the 18th of February at the 7 Arts Theatre in Avondale, Harare.  This a night where  arts practitioners from various sectors will be honoured for their work and accomplishments. In as much as this will be disappointing news for some who  expected the award show to be held out of the capital.

The theme of NAMA 2017 is ‘ Partner with the Arts’ and seems to be an appeal from the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to the corporate for support of the arts industry. The only thriving sect of the arts industry at the current moment, with poetry, film, literature and others surviving on life support. However it does not help that the award show that is advocating for this is itself mired in controversy of sidelining some acts and arts industry players.

However the awards are set to be big this year as NACZ has partnered with AB Communications which owns one of the nation’s radio stations ZiFM Stereo, in the preparations of what they have described as a ‘red carpet event. We sure hope that it will be indeed a night to remember and not a night of horrors and claims of rigging.

Funny man Carl Joshua Ncube, fresh from long rest after a world record attempt, will host the 16th edition of the NAMAs. Carl participated in a marathon of shows last year and managed to get himself some stage time at some of the leading comedy festivals in Africa like the Soweto Comedy Festival and Presidents of Laughrica We sure hope that he will be able to live up to the occasion and bring life to these awards.

All in all its still quite a mystery though that the nominee list has not been announced yet and it’s the awards are less than a month away. Another issue of note is the dwindling numbers of entries which have gone down from 1104 for the 2016 edition to 775 for this year’s edition. Is it a case of arts practitioners losing confidence in the awards show? The actual ceremony will reveal the truth!



Free Thinker. Loud. Another inhabitant of Terra Firma. I am not your favourite person. Neither do I plan to be. But you will know my opinion. In fact, you will love it.

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