Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THE National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), organisers of the National Art Merit Awards (Namas) must take a leaf from the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAAs).
The inaugural RoilBAAs were held last year and the second edition will be held on the 26th of this month at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo with artistes from the City of Kings set to be honoured for excelling in their different disciplines.
When the RoilBAAs were inaugurated, questions emerged with some people suggesting that the awards were a meant to accommodate local artistes overlooked by Namas.
Organisers of the Bulawayo awards however explained that the awards were not meant to counter the Namas but were in fact meant to complement the national awards.
The RoilBAAs are the second provincial arts awards after the Midlands Music Awards which seem to have died probably due to lack of funding.
The provincial awards show that there may be a gap that the NACZ could fill by holding similar ceremonies across the country’s 10 provinces to honour artistes.
There are many artistes around Zimbabwe who are doing wonders in their regions but have failed to make it to the national stage for one reason or the other.
The provincial awards is a good idea that needs the support of the business community as what happened to organisers of BAAs who roped in the United Refineries as their principal sponsor this year.
To show their seriousness, last year’s BAAs were held successfully and became the talk of the country with organisers being commended for the well planned ceremony. Diamonds that were hidden in the arts industry were discovered on that day and it showed that Bulawayo as a city has immense talent that is dotted around the city.
Now, imagine what happens if similar provincial awards are held across the country and artistes are honoured by their respective province.
It will definitely make it easy for the NACZ to come up with a national award ceremony that is holistic.
Since the Namas are not a popularity contest, adjudication will look at artistry in its purest form for every artefact in each category.
This will surely increase competition and also enhance cultural diversity in each discipline and get artists work known nationally.