AMAKHOSI director and celebrated playwright Cont Mhlanga is boycotting this evening’s Nama in Bulawayo because the organisers “disrespected” him by inviting him through a text message.
Mhlanga, who is lined up to present an award, hit out at the organisers’ lack of courtesy and said he was staying away from the star-studded shindig.
The awards ceremony, which is in its 13th year, is being held at Bulawayo Rainbow hotel with the who’s who of the arts industry in the country converging on the venue.
Mhlanga said the organisers only informed him of his duties through a text message sent to him by National Arts Council of Zimbabwe assistant director Audrey Charamba.
The text message that was seen by this reporter basically stated that Mhlanga should carefully select his attire as he was supposed to present an award tonight reminding him it was a red carpet event.
“Abantu bayangiqala. How can they just text and not call. Nxa kunjalo angihambi kumaNama ang’khona,” he said.
Mhlanga said it was high time organisers of the Namas took Bulawayo people seriously.
“Who is this person who sent me this message? Do they think I am a child? They should be serious and why are they specifying about my clothes,” he said angrily.
Naturally, awards ceremonies across the globe are a black tie affair.
Local stakeholders in the arts industry have received one invitation each. This according to Nama organisers was to accommodate everyone due to limited space at the venue.
Mhlanga’s boycott comes after Bulawayo musicians planned a stay away as they were unhappy about the selection criteria for performers at the Nama. However, their boycott was a nullity because some of them were not even invited to the ceremony in the first place.