SURPRISES, shocks, tears and boos….
This aptly sums up the 18th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards ceremony held at the Harare International Conference Centre last weekend.
Despite all the hype prior to the event, the outcome of the winners did not come as a surprise to many who have been following the NAMAs.
It was also yet another night which brew shocks as the panel of adjudicators came with a ‘bizarre’ list of winners in other categories.
As usual, the music category divided opinions once again as ‘deserving’ nominees left empty-handed with some nominees even shocked to be called to the winners’ podium.
- MAI PATAI SHOCKER
Gweru based gospel diva Mai Patai brew a shocker of the night at the awards ceremony and debate is still raging.
The seasoned gospel musician won the Viewers’ Choice Award at the expense of the crowd’s favourite like Winky D, Jah Prayzah and Alick Macheso.
Even the presenter of the gong was booed off stage as she announced the winner as guests failed to come to terms with Mai Patai’s triumph.
Sandra Ndebele who received the gong on behalf of Mai Patai added was also jeered when she announced that she comes from Gweru and that’s why she received the award.
However, event organisers said Mai Patai was voted for by fans and there was nothing they could do since she polled most votes.
While Mai Patai’s triumph reads like an April Fools’ Day prank, her victory has come as a serious lesson for fans who do not vote for their favourite artistes yet they complain when they lose.
Mai Patai, who is not knew to such victory, appears to have devised her own modus operandi in soliciting for votes which should be emulated by other artistes.
World over, we have seen artistes soliciting for votes and Mai Patai is a good example of such a person even if on paper she doesn’t deserve it.
Guests were also left divided after rapper ExQ won the outstanding musician in a category where he was pitted against the likes of Macheso.
Without taking anything from ExQ, fans are still divided.
- ‘SILLY’ SONGS REWARDED
Another talking point came when Enzo Ishall’s song was Kanjiva earned him an Outstanding Song gong.
Regarded by many a critic as one of those silly songs which ruled the roost in 2018, Enzo still managed to win a gong with the track.
He also received an air ticket to Dubai courtesy of Rwandair.
Like any other event where emotions taking their toll on recipients, Charles Mungoshi’s widow Jesesi Mungoshi almost broke down as she collected her late husband’s gong for the Lifetime Achievements.
Her two sons calmed her down as they accompanied her to the winners’ podium.
It was also a night to remember for world’s most travelled outfit – Mokoomba – who won the Arts Personality award.
Marcus Gora received the gong on behalf of the group which is currently on a tour of North America.
The group, which passed through Music Crossroads talent search programme, is celebrated abroad yet they are underrated back home.
For the past ten years they have been touring Europe and America getting rave reviews from international publications.
And the honour was long overdue for the group which was plucked from the back of beyond in Binga to become international stars.
In other categories, many people believe justice was done but it is the music category which hogged the limelight as usual.
Below is the list of all winners:
- SPOKEN WORD AWARDS
Likhwa Ncube – aka Likhwa okaNcube – Winner
Learnmore Mwanyenyeka – aka Long John – Winner
- LITERARY ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding First Creative Published Book
Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama [Ntombekhaya Poetry] – Winner
Outstanding Children’s Book
The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda [Pass-Point Publishers] – Winner
Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi [DanTs Media Publishing] – Winner
- THEATRE AWARDS
Teddy Mangawa in Ukama – Winner
Heather Mlingo in Ukama
Qeqeshiwe Mtambo in The Hostel – Winner
Outstanding Theatrical Production
Ukama by Savanna Trust – Winner
Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi – Winner
- DANCE AWARDS
Outstanding Female Dancer
Vein N. Alfazema in Black Sheep – Winner
Outstanding Male Dancer
Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro – Winner
Outstanding Dance Group
Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka – Winner
Macintosh Jerahuni & Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa – Winner
- VISUAL ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work
The Demolition by John Kotze – Winner
Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work
Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi – Winner
Outstanding Mix Media Work
The Watchman and the Fence I by Greg Shaw – Winner
Forever Neverland by Valerie Kabov
The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda & Talent Kapadza – Winner
- FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS
Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi – Winner
Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off – Winner
Outstanding Music Video
Dzamutsana produced by Vusa Hlatshayo ft. Jah Prayzah – Winner
Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series)
Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi – Winner
Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film
Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru – Winner
Outstanding Screen Production – Full Length Film
Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill – Winner
- MEDIA AWARDS
Outstanding Journalist – Print
Fred Zindi – Standard – Winner
Outstanding Journalist – Television
Patience Nyagato – ZTV – Winner
Outstanding Journalist – Radio
Babongile Sikhonjwa – Sky Metro FM – Winner
Outstanding Online Media
Capitalk – Winner
- MUSIC AWARDS
Outstanding Female Musician
Janet Manyowa – Winner
Outstanding Male Musician
Enock Munhenga aka ExQ – Winner
Tseu Tseu by Enock Munhenga aka ExQ – Winner
Kanjiva by Stephen K. Mamhere aka Enzo Ishal – Winner
- SPECIAL AWARDS
Artist in the Diaspora
Danai J. Gurira – Winner
Viewer’s Choice Award
Mai Patai – Winner
Arts Personality Award-Mokoomba
Arts Service Award-The Standard Newspaper
Lifetime Achievement Award-Dr Charles Mungoshi