Bongani Ndlovu Showbiz correspondent
BULAWAYO artistes dominated the National Art Merit Awards (Namas) in Harare scooping 12 out 33 of the accolades for their hard work during 2014.
On a memorable night at the 7 Arts Theatre in the capital on Saturday, theatrical production Umbiko KaMadlenya made a clean sweep of the theatre awards as it scooped the Outstanding male actor (Memory Kumbota), female actress (Bathabile Dlamini), director (Nelson Mapako) and theatrical production.
Scenes of jubilation filled the auditorium as the artistes received their awards.
The Raisedon Baya edited book Around the Fire tales from Zimbabwe, won the Outstanding Children’s Book award.
In the dance category, Cheryl Mabaya scooped the Outstanding female dancer award and Likhwa Ncube (Outstanding Poet). In the visual arts Clifford Zulu and Israel Israel won the Outstanding Exhibition gong.
Comedian Clive Chigubu won the Outstanding Comedian award pipping Doc Vikela and Uncle Ritchie who ended up winning the People’s Choice Award.
Gugulethu Ndlovu was the Outstanding Female Actress in the Film and Television category under the short film award.
ZBCTv’s(Montrose) Josephine Mugiyo won the Outstanding Television Journalist award.
Kalawa Homecoming Party promotional company X-MO Squad won the Outstanding promoter award, to wrap up the evening’s proceedings for the Bulawayo artistes.
The night was filled with glitz and glamour as artistes and socialites in the capital came out in full force to grace the red carpet with their outfits.
The hosts – radio personality Patience Musa, South African based actor Leeroy Gopal and comedian cum socialite Babongile Sikhonjwa gave a good account of themselves.
It was laughs galore as Chigubu came back on stage after winning the award and had the crowd eating out of his hands with his brand of stand up comedy.
A massive ‘Yeye’ chant filled the venue as the crowd voiced their appreciation.
Besides the win by the Bulawayo artistes, Nama adjudicators pulled a shocker and awarded Sulumani Chimbetu the Outstanding song award for his hit Nyuchi ahead of crowd favourite Tocky Vibes. When he took to the podium, the crowd started chanting Tocky’s name.
As a consolation, Tocky vibes won the Outstanding Album and Male award that brought joy to the many that were rooting for him in the auditorium.