The Sunday Mail
SOME say it is the best thing to happen to local radio in a long time.
Others say it is a selfish, territorial fight between two of Zimbabwe’s biggest urban radio stations.
Whatever the case, January 2019 is going to be “lit”, as the millennials say about something that is exciting.
Star FM and Power FM are set to go head-to-head, both hosting their inaugural radio music awards on January 19 and 25 respectively.
In early October, Star FM began a publicity campaign for their awards. Power FM followed suit a month later.
The latter hastily put together a media briefing on November 27 at their Pockets Hill base where station manager, Rumbi Moyo, laboured to explain that they were not copying Star FM.
“We do not react to what is happening out there. We are simply saying there are so many players, the cake is very big. We are just complementing each other at the end of the day,” said Moyo, who was also responding to accusations that Power FM was trying to grab attention from Bulawayo’s Skyz Metro FM Music Awards.
On the Star FM Music Awards, Zimpapers Radio Broadcasting Division GM Comfort Mbofana said: “We appreciate that Skyz Metro were the first ones. We congratulate them. But our feeling is we can all come together and celebrate Zimbabwean music together. Nobody needs to own the space of celebrating our musicians. It’s something we can do together.”
Battle of Brands
Star FM and Power FM have got some of the top players in Zimbabwe’s showbiz backing them with sponsorship.
Star FM is running with Impala Car Rental, marshalled by businessman Thompson Dondo. Impala has hosted several top class musical events over the years and has bankrolled the career of Afro-fusion musician Sam Dondo.
Power FM has roped in businessman Tinashe Mutarisi, whom some may know as the man behind Nash Paints, but on this occasion is coming in with cellphone brand Avion. The awards are dubbed the Power FM Avion Music Awards.
The Star FM Awards are strictly by invite. “We decided to start off small then go bigger with time. There is a lot to learn so we decided to settle for Zimbali Gardens with a small crowd, but we promise a top-notch show,” said Mbofana.
Power FM, through Moyo, said their awards would be held at the Harare International Conference Centre.
But when asked to confirm the venue on December 5, Moyo seemed unsure of where exactly they would be hosting their awards. “We are considering a different location now. We would like a venue that would communicate our vision for the awards. It may or may not be HICC, we are keeping our options open,” she said.
Star FM music awards manager Zandile Zaza Ndlovu said, “The awards are open to Zimbabwean musicians who have submitted and had their songs released for airplay on Star FM radio between the January 1, 2018 and November 30, 2018. Non-Zimbabweans who have permanent residency in Zimbabwe and have lived in Zimbabwe for over a year, and produced music during this period are also eligible to enter.”
The entry period for the awards started on November 30 and ends today. “Adjudication is split into two panels. The first will sit on December 15 and 16 to come up with three nominees per category. The second adjudication panel will sit on January 5, 2019 to assess the top three nominees from each category.
‘‘They will fill in their scores on the assessment forms which will be collected by our auditors. Who will privately go and tally the votes,” added Ndlovu. Power FM issued a roadmap regarding submission of entries, adjudication and announcement of nominees at their media briefing.
But when The Sunday Mail Society sought confirmation, we were told they had made some changes, and Power FM’s new roadmap had not been availed at the time of writing.