ZIM DANCEHALL: Battlelines drawn in Zim dancehall awards

Ital mix. . . Some of the guests that attended the Zim dancehall Awards cocktail held at the Exhibition Park feast on fruits and veges recently
Ital mix. . . Some of the guests that attended the Zim dancehall Awards cocktail held at the Exhibition Park feast on fruits and veges recently

BATTLE lines have been drawn up and we now know who goes up against who at the 2014 Zim dancehall Awards to be held on March 6.

The nominees for the 23 categories of the awards set to be held at East End Hall in the capital were released a fortnight ago. Though Tocky Vibes and Winky D dominate much of the categories, interest has been generated in categories where rivals Soul Jah Love and Seh Calaz are going head to head.

Developments in Zim dancehall have in the past months been intriguing though sometimes incidences have spiralled out of control and turned nasty. With the genre producing various stars almost on a monthly basis, it is interesting to note how Soul Jah Love (Conquering Family boss) and Seh Calaz (Mabhanditi leader) have managed to keep the attention on themselves.

Debate has been centred on who is the best between the two estranged friends and whether there have become real foes or their fallout is just a marketing gimmick.

The two artistes’ fans are hoping this year’s edition of the Zim dancehall awards ceremony will help crack a running dispute that has proved difficult to solve. The two chanters (Soul Jah Love and Seh Calaz) will be squaring off in the Best Artiste 2014 Male and Best Vocalist categories.

Though every category of the awards ceremony counts it is evident that the Best Artiste and Best Vocalist are the backbone of the whole event or competition if you like. It is through the two awards that music followers will get to know who the best was in the past year.

A win by any other artiste like Winky D, Tocky Vibes, Princo Spice, Celicious and Guspy Warrior, artistes that also feature in the aforesaid categories, will mean the Soul Jah Love/Seh Calaz debate will have to be solved on another day. On the flipside, the development may guarantee a shift of attention from the artistes.

But victory by either Soul Jah Love or Seh Calaz will go a long way in putting to rest a debate that even Sting 2014 failed to solve.

This is not to say that battle between the two Mbare bred artistes will be the only thing to look forward to this year’s edition of the awards. It will also be interesting to see how the public will judge between Tocky Vibes and Winky D.

The Winky D magic will be put to test as he will battle it out in three categories with Tocky Vibes. Last year the Ninja president walked away with four accolades.

His victory then was based more on a brand that he had long created compared to his form in the period in question for last year’s awards. For 2014 he (Winky D) produced some good tracks that deserve attention, but Tocky Vibes appears to have also done enough to shrug off competition in as far as music production is concerned.

It will also be D-day for the self-proclaimed queen of Zim dancehall Lady Squanda. Her rivals Lipsy, Darula, Empress Shelly and Jiwela will be out to dethrone the controversial chanter.

Judging from anxiety generated by the nominees list, the second edition of the Zim dancehall Awards is something to look forward to. However, one hopes the organisers of the event will not connive to disappoint us on the final day.

Local awards ceremonies have often been shrouded with controversy and poor organisation.

Yes, it is difficult to have a controversy-free awards ceremony but some issues appear too general to be cause unnecessary hullabaloo.

Founder of the Zim dancehall Awards, Phineas Mushayi said the organizing team had learnt some vital lessons from last year’s event and that this year’s show would better organised and as flawless as possible.

“We are creating a web page with all categories and it is going to be uploaded on Friday (last week). Forms are also going to be distributed to DJs, arts reporters and producers with a point scoring system then in the end we will have a panel of judges who will meet and consider the outcome of the processes. After that we will then come up with winners,” said Mushayi.

He added: “Efforts are being made so that we have a flawless event. This is why we are doing everything step-by-step and as transparent as possible. We learnt from our mistakes last year.”

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