Flaws mar inaugural Zim Dancehall awards

Wnky D poses for pictures while being handed over one of his four awards at the Zim Dancehall awards which were held at the College of Music in Harare last week. — (Picture by Percy Musiiwa)
Wnky D poses for pictures while being handed over one of his four awards at the Zim Dancehall awards which were held at the College of Music in Harare last week. — (Picture by Percy Musiiwa)

Tanyaradzwa Munouya
First-time efforts are usually learning curves, so they say.
But for one to learn, he/she has to get at least half of the things right.
The inaugural Zim Dancehall awards left the crowd disappointed as they were characterised by a lot of flaws, which have over the years contributed to the demise of other music awards.

Prior to the event, there was a lot of eagerness within the public. But the zeal was to be wiped away moments before the awards ceremony began. Instead of starting at 1800hrs as promised, the organisers decided to start the event two hours later.

To make matters worse was the fact that the organisers appeared to have not in any way prepared for the day, the décor team had by the scheduled time of kick-off not started doing what was supposed to have been done earlier in the day in front of the public.

As if their delay was not enough to dampen the spirits of the waiting crowd, the organisers went a gear up. This time around, they made the owners of the day (nominees) to find themselves a place to sit within the crowd, yes; there were no reserved seats for the nominees.
Then, there was the master of ceremony (MC), whose action(s) only added salt to injury.

The MC, who was dressed in an unfashionable style, continuously presented the awards in broken English and also struggled in pronouncing the artistes’ names. To add to this, the ushers behaved in a not so usual manner. They seemed out place and behaved more like guests.

They (ushers) avoided contact with the public, with their eyes most of the times glued onto the floors (as if that’s where the event was taking place) ignoring their core duty of attending to the guests.

It was only the sterling performances by the youthful and talented dancehall artistes namely Seh Calaz, Jay Cee that temporarily lit the faces of the otherwise dejected guests.

Apart from the failures of the day, some music followers were of the view that the awards failed to recognise some other deserving talent in the form of young Ras Pompy and Spider man. The former (Ras Pompy) justified this view with an excellent performance that he gave on the day, which sent the crowd into delirium.

With the energetic and charismatic performance, one could be pardoned for feeling Ras Pompy could be a young version of Vbyz Kartel in terms of music (but of course not the crime part).

Coming to the awards, the night belonged to Winky D, who emerged the biggest winner during the first edition of the event as he grabbed four awards. He scooped the best artiste (male), best social message, best live performer and best video with his manager, Jonathan Banda, walking away with the best manager award.

His victory, however, seemed to have disappointed some of the guests that attended the event. They felt, for instance, the best artiste 2013 award belonged to inform dancehall artistes that include Soul Jah Love and Killer T.

But in terms of live performance, they (the public) seemed to be in agreement that the ninja president (Winky D) is second to none. Also, they agreed that his song Mafirakureva had poignant lyrics that could not be ignored.

Other artistes that walked away with awards include Soul Jah Love (best upcoming artiste and best collaboration with Celo Culture), Seh Calaz, Freeman, Shinsoman, Terminator, Lady Squanda, Crystal, Killer T, Zimbo Jam, Jay Cee and Ghetto Creepers.

However, many felt for Killer T. It is a fact that Killer T is extremely talented with a bright future ahead of him, but his habit of coming on stage in a drunken stupor is surely going to shutter the dream.

If this behaviour of his that has been reported over and over again goes unchecked, the young lad’s career is definitely going to die in its nascent stages.

Soul Jah Love was accompanied to the stage by her lioness, Bounty Lisa, who was wearing a decent black dress that was just perfect for the event.

Shinsoman got the house into stitches when he celebrated his song of the year award like a soccer player who has just scored a winning goal in a World Cup final.

So excited was Baba Devanty when his name was called that he jumped and screamed before taking his wife with him on stage and giving his speech.

Though the event was way below expectations, the organisers of the awards ceremony must be commended for recognising the sterling work done by the dancehall artistes over the years. The genre has fast gained popularity and can now compete with any in the country.

Pioneers of the genre (dancehall) that include Potato, Gary B, Major E and Temple man were each awarded with honouring awards.

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