Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
The Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RBBA) were moving, made people reflect and above all honoured the artistes who have worked hard for the past year.
They were held at the Large City Hall on Saturday night and those who watched them online were all intrigued at the nearly seamless presentation of the ceremony.
It was a celebration of arts excellence in the province touted as the arts and culture hub of Zimbabwe.
This year has been a difficult one, as art activities were cut short because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the artistes decided to soldier on and used the pandemic as inspiration.
The few spaces that artistes were operating from were shut down and many lost incomes. Many artistes this year suffered under the Covid-19 pandemic and the awards rewarded them for their arts excellence and reliance despite the trying times. The awards were, at one time, nearly scrapped because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, through standing firm on the belief that the awards should go ahead as they were the celebration that was needed this year, it was about the nominees and winners.
The awards started off with a moving tribute to the late Zim hip-hop king Cal Vin. He was killed following a hit and run accident metres from his Luveve 5 home, last month. The culprits have not been caught.
Cal Vin’s song Thabani was the backdrop that was used to pay tribute to him through a live band and a grouping of dancers and back up singers.
Outstanding Male nominees, Asaph, Msizkay, Hwabaraty and Madlela took the lead to sing along to Cal Vin’s hit song, Banjalo Abantu.
At the end of the performance, Cal Vin’s mother Sinikiwe Luphahla, was brought on stage to present the Mgcini Calvin Nhliziyo Hip Hop award. This award was named after Cal Vin in his honour after his death.
“I’d like to thank you for honouring my son. I believe he is smiling wherever he is,” said Luphahla, before announcing the winner.
The award was taken by Asaph who has won it for three years in a row. He dedicated it to the late Cal Vin.
Internet sensation and Nkayi-based musician Sikhosana Band won the Outstanding Newcomer award and it was a song Isomiso, about the coronavirus pandemic and how it has ravished the nation that got him the nod.
Renowned author and historian, Pathisa Nyathi was awarded the Life Achievement Award which was befitting.
Nyathi has been consistent in his works from acting as Nare on Kukhulwa Kokuphela, to writing over 50 books on the history of the country and its traditions.
Nyathi, a wealth of knowledge in all things cultural and historical, thanked people for recognising him while he was still alive.
“The arts identify us as a people. The arts give us our identity, the arts locate us in space and time. For me the journey has been very long, as I sat down, I was thinking when did the journey start. It started in 1969 when I was in Form Three.
“But still going strong even today. There’s nothing more pleasing, more satisfying to be honoured in your lifetime.
More so when those doing that are your own people. Thank you,” said Nyathi.
He said as he turns 70 next year, he will share the journey of his life, hinting that a book is in the pipeline.
Another highlight was, after two years on the sidelines because of health issues, Diliza made a come-back on stage with an energetic performance.
Another performance to note was that of Mandie Mae, a 19-year-old reggae artiste who got people on their feet.
Full list of RoilBAA winners
Mgcini Cal Vin Nhliziyo Outstanding Hip Hop Artist
Outstanding Female Dancer
Beauty Matshawila -Hloseni Arts
Outstanding Male Dancer
Prince Chibansha -Super Geeks
Outstanding Theatre Actress
Musa Sibanda on 6.55
Outstanding Theatre Actor
Outstanding Theatre Production
Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
Outstanding Literary Work (Non-Fiction)
Self-Starters by Njabulo Moyo
Outstanding Ndebele Literary Work
Mihla Sitsha Tsheza
Outstanding Film and TV Actress
Outstanding Film Actor
Outstanding Short Film
Outstanding TV Production
Outstanding Arts Photographer
Outstanding Arts Journalist
Bongani Ndlovu – Chronicle
Outstanding Online Media
Outstanding Female Model
Ayanda Candice Sibanda
Outstanding Male Model
Outstanding Fashion Designer
Outstanding Club DJ
Outstanding Kwaito | House | Gqom Artist | Act
Outstanding Alternative Music Act
Outstanding Gospel Artist Act
Outstanding Imbube Accapela Act
Indosakusa The Morning Star
Outstanding Tshibilika Artist Rhumba Act
Outstanding Music Producer
Godwin Smallz – Elephant Herd Records
Outstanding Male Artist
Outstanding Female Artist
Outstanding Radio DJ
Outstanding Dance Ensemble
Outstanding Music Video
Asambeni by Mzoe 7
Outstanding Song of The Year
Amalobolo by Ngoma Ingoma
Outstanding Newcomer Across All Genres
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