Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Reporter
ORGANISERS of the 20th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) have expressed confidence that they will put up a good show next month when they celebrate the country’s art.
The awards ceremony has been slated for February 26 at its traditional venue, Harare International Conference Centre (HICC). They will be held under the theme “Zimbabwe and Beyond #AmaLevels”.
Last year, the awards were shelved due to the Covid-19 pandemic and replaced by a legends appreciation ceremony where 40 arts legends were recognised for their contribution to the arts industry.
This year, things are set to get back to normal with the usual red carpet expected to be the main attraction.
Nama executive director Napoleon “Napster” Nyanhi said preparations are at an advanced stage with nominees set to be revealed in the second week of February.
“Preparations for the 20th edition of Zimbabwe’s biggest celebration of the arts are in full swing and as always, there’re going to be many surprises from the red carpet, pre-show and awards show.
“We’re looking at announcing the nominees for the 20th Nama in the second week of February,” said Napster.
He said a total of 2 135 entries were received for the 20th Nama. The entries cover the visual arts, theatre, literary arts, film and television, dance, media, spoken word, and music categories.
“1 020 entries were submitted online while 808 entries were received from the various collecting points that were established for the submission of entries. Monitors selected by the NACZ submitted an additional 307 entries while 83 entries were from Zimbabwean artistes based in the diaspora.”
Music dominated submissions across categories with 794 entries followed by Film and Television with 434, Visual Arts 283, Literature 254, Spoken Word 104 and Dance 99. Media and theatre categories received the least entries with 80 and 87 entries respectively.
He said the nation should brace itself for quality entertainment as bookings for performers are almost done.
“We’ve signed and booked 95 percent of the artistes who’ll perform on the night. We can assure people that all their favourites will grace the Nama stage, but we’ll leave it to their imagination as to who’ll be there.
“It’s a guarantee that it’ll be a wholesome celebration of Zimbabwean art as we’re being guided by our theme which is
‘Zimbabwe and Beyond #AmaLevels’, so acts from Zimbabwe and beyond will grace the #Nama20 stage.”
Napster said those who will not be able to physically attend the event will have a chance to watch it online.
“We’re planning a live event which will be available for streaming digitally for those within and beyond Zimbabwe who can’t access our terrestrial channel. We are, of course being guided by the Covid-19 protocols and regulations for the hosting of the event,” said Napster.
The awards ceremony aims to recognise outstanding talent, innovation, and excellence in the different fields of Zimbabwean art and culture. – @mthabisi_mthire.