Musical brilliance & industry reinvention! Stage set for Zimbabwe Music Awards 2023
Langalakhe Mabena, [email protected]
LIGHTS, camera, and action! Get ready to be dazzled as the stage is set for the most anticipated event of the year, the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima).
Tonight, the 7 Arts Theatre in Harare will be transformed into a glamorous red-carpet affair, where the best and brightest stars of the Zimbabwean music industry will gather to celebrate their incredible talent and achievements.
Under the theme “Re-Imagining The Industry,” this year’s Zima promises to be a night to remember.
With nominees spanning across 25 categories, the competition is fierce, and the anticipation is palpable. From Song of the Year to Best Female Artist, Best Male Artist, and Best Group/Duo, the range of talent is astonishing.
Leading the pack with the highest number of nominations are hip-hop superstar Saintfloew, Leo Magozz, Freeman HKD, Feli Nandi, and Gemma. Each of these remarkable artists has made their mark on the industry and is set to leave a lasting impression on the awards ceremony.
With Saintfloew and Leo Magozz nominated in four categories each, and Freeman HKD, Feli Nandi, and Gemma competing in three categories, the stage is set for an intense battle of musical prowess.
The stakes are high as Saintfloew and Leo Magozz go head-to-head in the Best Hip Hop and Song of the Year categories. Freeman HKD, Feli Nandi, and Gemma, on the other hand, will showcase their talent in categories like Best Album of the Year, Best Afropop/Afro Fusion, and Best Collaboration.
But it’s not just the newcomers who are making waves. Esteemed artistes such as Msiz’Kay, Fusion 5 Mangwiro, The Vine, Vabati VaJehova, Indosakusa, and Alick Macheso have also received well-deserved nominations across various categories.
Fusion 5 Mangwiro and The Vine are competing for Best Group/Duo and Best Jazz, while Vabati VaJehova has been recognised in the Best Group/Duo category.
The legendary sungura icon Alick Macheso has been nominated for Best Album of the Year and Best Sungura, reminding us of his timeless contributions to Zimbabwean music.
The soul-stirring imbube ensemble, Indosakusa, has received nominations for Best Group/Duo and Best Traditional, captivating audiences with their powerful harmonies.
One category that promises an intriguing showdown is Best Tshibilika, where Clement Magwaza, Madlela Skhobokhobo, Ezokubhimba, and Insimbi Zezhwane will battle it out for the accolade.
This year, Zima aims to bring increased transparency to the awards. The organisers have taken steps to restore the credibility of the system by assembling a team responsible for maintaining accuracy and fairness in selecting nominees and winners.
These changes were announced during a press conference, where the vision and roadmap for the 2023 awards were shared.
Notably, renowned events specialist Marshall Shonhai and creative event planner Fungai “Kush” Zvirawa have joined the organising committee, injecting their expertise and creativity into the event.
And who better to lead the production than arts doyen Saimon Mambazo Phiri, ensuring that the ceremony will be nothing short of exceptional.
Aligned with the theme “Re-Imagining The Industry,” Reason “Rizzla” Sibanda, the awards CEO, emphasises the need for artistes to adapt to the changing landscape of music distribution and consumption.
While embracing digital media and technological advancements, Sibanda urges Zimbabwean artistes to stay connected to their African roots and create music that resonates with their people while sharing the rich African sound with the world.
In an effort to ensure fairness, the top five awards categories, including Best Female Artist of the Year, Best Male Artist of the Year, Best Group or Duo of the Year, Best Newcomer of the Year, and Best Album of the Year, were selected directly by Zima.
For the remaining categories, artiste submissions were accepted from March 13, 2023, to April 14, 2023, considering music released from January 1 to December 31, 2022.
The changes implemented this year demonstrate the organisers’ commitment to transparency. With a renewed focus on accuracy and fairness, the Zima team aims to uphold the integrity of the awards and provide a platform that truly celebrates the best of Zimbabwean music.
As the excitement builds, anticipation is not only directed toward the awards themselves but also toward the incredible production set to unfold on stage.
Saimon Mambazo Phiri, a true maestro of the arts, will once again lead the event’s production, ensuring a captivating and unforgettable experience for all in attendance.
Sibanda believes that as the industry evolves, artistes must embrace technological advancements while staying true to their African heritage.
He emphasises the importance of blending the best of both worlds, drawing from the rich musical heritage and wisdom deeply ingrained in Zimbabwean culture.
By tapping into their roots and infusing their music with a global appeal, Zimbabwean artistes have the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the international stage.
Zima23 will not only celebrate the achievements of the nominees but also serve as a catalyst for the ongoing reimagining of the Zimbabwean music industry.
It is a reminder of the incredible talent that exists within the country and the potential for Zimbabwean music to transcend borders and captivate audiences worldwide.
So, prepare to be enchanted as the stars grace the red carpet, the spotlight shines brightly, and the music fills the air.
The Zimbabwe Music Awards 2023 is an event where dreams are realised, legacies are born, and the power of music takes centre stage.It is a celebration of the past, present, and future of Zimbabwean music — a night that promises to leave an indelible mark in the hearts of music lovers everywhere.