KILLER T received a thunderous standing ovation at the Zimbabwe Music Awards on Thursday night while P. O. Box’s Comic Pastor and his co-stars had everyone eating out of their hands with fresh rib-crackers.
The much anticipated awards proved that Jah Prayzah’s fire is far from dousing. The lanky musician emerged the biggest winner on the night, scooping three personal awards and another one for a collaboration.
The “Eriza” hit-maker walked away with awards for Best Male Artiste, Best Traditional Music, Best Album and his joint effort with Ammara Brown on “Kure Kure” earned him a bonus accolade for Best Collaboration.
Jah Prayzah might need to buy a bigger trophy cabinet as his number of awards continue to grow, having bagged two awards at the recently held Namas.
Janet Manyowa won two awards for Best Female Artiste and Best Newcomer and also managed to shine on the night. However, many people are still questioning whether Manyowa has made that much of an impact on the local music industry. The general sentiment is that Best Newcomer, yes; Best female Artiste, not yet.
One of the best artistes of 2015, Killer T, finally managed to get an award after controversially leaving the Namas empty-handed. The “Ngoma Ndaimba” hit-maker walked away the victor in the Best Dancehall category.
The battle for the Song of the Year gong, which was eventually won by Winky D for his mega hit “Disappear” was tightly contested with the likes of Rev T. Chivaviro of Ebenezer, Killer T, Jah Prayzah, Roki and XQ battling for honours.
Rev Chivaviro must be a cursed man. While it is understandable to lose to “Disappear”, but for the Traditional Gospel Music award to go to Mhere — that must hurt really bad. Mhere did not even show up or send a representative. Clearly he did not expect to win. But Rev Chivaviro, who lives in South Africa, was in attendance. Life can be so unfair at times.
As largely speculated, the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously given to Bob Marley proved to be much ado about nothing. There was no one to receive the award on behalf of the late reggae legend, no recorded message, no Skype, nothing.
Having Blakk Rasta receive that award on behalf of Rita Marley, Bob Marley’s widow, was a mockery to the memory of the legendary singer.
And the much talked about red carpet was a disaster. Awards ceremonies are characterised by glitz and glamour, with celebrities donning their best outfits and showing off their fashion side on the red carpet.
But the red carpet reception at the Zimas left a lot to be desired, with a set-up that was not up to scratch and a carpet that had to be re-adjusted every now and then.
The carpet pathway had no barricades and this made it difficult to separate the celebrities from the general public.
Somehow, this stole a bit of shine from the procession.
However, most of the celebrities brought their A game, displaying style and elegance on the red carpet. Some of the celebrities who wore exceptional outfits included Ammara Brown, Cindy, Winky D, Cynthia Mare, Candice, Mudiwa and Queen Vee, just to mention a few.
Thembani Mubochwa once again stole the limelight with his Elephant Dress that was donned by talented singer, Selmor Mtukudzi.
Arriving in a safari truck, Mtukudzi gracefully walked the red carpet flanked by game rangers who were marching besides her. The sophisticated dress managed to draw huge applause from the small crowd that was standing by the red carpet.
In terms of performances, the line-up was weak. Despite the fact that most of the acts tried their best to appease the crowd, it proved to be a daunting task.
Some of the artistes who performed included Ammara Brown, Queen Vee, Cal Vin, Cynthia Mare and the visiting Ghanaian reggae artiste Blakk Rasta. The best performance of the night was by the well-travelled former Iyasa member Nomathamsanqa Treatie Mkwananzi, affectionately known as Nkwali, who also scooped an award on the night.
On the down side, Vanessa Sibanda aka Queen Vee, looked lost on stage as she performed her chart-topping collaboration with Soul Jah Love without the affable Zim dancehall chanter.
However, there is no doubt that the Zimas are popular and are able to attract meaningful partners.
Zima chairman Joseph Nyadzayo simply needs to decide on whether he wants to continue treating the awards as his personal project and watch them die or court professionals to help him run the awards ceremony and take them to another level.
THE Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) are definitely roses that are yet to bud. Nevertheless, they already exude an overwhelming appeal.
Although the country is facing a biting economic crunch that has seen many organisations downscaling operations and others closing shop, the Zimas are still taking place with all the glitz and glamour.
Understandably, the awards ceremony will be critiqued. It shall be said that last week’s red-carpet experience was awful, that it was poorly organised and managed. There were no pre-meetings with nominees to guarantee a smooth flow at the event. There was no punctuality, the event kicked off two or so hours late, which was a great setback considering that the event was held mid-week. Moreover, the organisers appeared clueless on how best to plan the sequence of their award presentations.
Perhaps concluding with the much favoured Song of the Year award or having it just before the Lifetime Achievement award helped the organisers hold a handful of the people that graced the gigantic HICC for a bit longer.
Soon after Winky D’s song “Disappear” scooped the gong, there was mass exodus from the auditorium by both artistes and fans. Clearly this was not in protest, there was just nothing interesting to look forward to anymore.
Even the visiting Ghanaian reggae musician Blakk Rasta had glumness written all over his face as he had to be content with playing for the empty seats.
However, the most important thing is that the event came to pass. Never mind the limp.
Every Tindo, Chenai and Sipho could access it.
Here was a group of people led by the passionate chairman of the awards, Joseph Nyadzayo, determined to celebrate the arts.
When recognition and appreciation comes in whatever form and on whatever platform, it strikes a deep chord in the recognised and appreciated. The assurance that the artistes are doing something worthwhile is enough to boost their spirits. Thursday was a night in which organisers sought no glamour or glory for themselves, they did so for the various stakeholders in the cut-throat arts industry.
Speaking to this publication just before the awards event, the Zima chairman was speechless.
“…wish I knew how to respond at the moment if someone asks me how I feel. Honestly I don’t know. Maybe after the awards tonight I will have an answer. I have tried my best and it’s now time for measure,” said Nyadzayo at a nominees reception at the Zimbabwe College of Music.
While some might choose to focus on the shortcomings of the event, the glaring gaps that were here and there, the nominated were clearly feeling warm and fuzzy, they glowed inside and outside. Multiple award-winner of the night, the high-riding Jah Prayzah captured it all when he said, “Just being nominated, not winning, is more than enough, that recognition is encouraging.”
In this almost thankless industry that offers poor financial returns for many, anyone who applauds the artistes for their efforts is fully appreciated. Congratulations to all the winners.
Let the music keep playing.
Here is a list of the winners.
Nkwali – Nkwali
Best Alternative Music
Cynthia Mare – Moto Ngaubvire
Best Choral Music
Sebastian Magacha, African Joy – The Battle Against Evil
Ammara Brown and Jah Prayzah
Best Contemporary Gospel Music
Takesure Zama – Kuregerera in Advance
Song of the Year
Winky D – Disappear
Best Dancehall Music
Killer T – Ngoma Ndaimba
Cal Vin – Bebengakholwa
Best House Music
Skaiva – Its Love
Oskid – Kenako Volume 1
Best RnB/Soul/Afro Pop
Trevor Dongo – Two Steps to go
Shingi Mangoma ft Reverb7 – Handikusiye
Sulumani Chimbetu – Gunship
Best Traditional Gospel Music
Mathias Mhere – Glory to Glory
Best Traditional Music
Jah Prayzah – Jerusarema
Andy Cutter – Alleluya (Roki and XQ)
Album of the Year
Jah Prayzah – Jerusarema
Best duo and Group
Roki and XQ
Best Male Artiste
Best Female Artiste
Janet Manyowa – Glory to Glory
Janet Manyowa – Glory to Glory
Best Journalist Print
Winston Antonio – NewsDay
Best Online Journalist
Two Broke Twimbos
Buffalo Soul Jah
Lifetime Achievement Award
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