Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
VOTING for most of the categories in the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards closed on Monday, with attention turning to the preparations for the annual showcase to be held this Saturday.
Five categories are up for public votes that will close hours before the end of the awards on Saturday. The awards ceremony will be held at the Large City Hall and there are limited tickets for the event so as to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.
This year the RoilBAA partnered with Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and voting is through an SMS platform. Each nominee in each category have their own code for the voting.
Categories which are still open are Outstanding Video, Outstanding Dance group, Outstanding Song of the Year, Outstanding Newcomer of the Year and Outstanding Radio DJ of the year.
For the better part of the past three weeks, nominees have been on a campaign trail canvassing for votes from their fans. Now that only five categories are left, focus has shifted to preparing for the awards night by the nominees.
The RoilBAAs this year will run under a new normal, without the extravagance of last year’s edition. Before the Covid-19 pandemic it was the biggest dress-up event in Bulawayo and this week, many people would be securing outfits to rock on the red carpet.
However, this year only the nominees and a few people are looking for showstopping outfits for the night.
It has been structured differently with the nominees set to be housed at a different venue and they will be transported to another one when their category is up. When whoever wins, they then are taken back to the venue for celebrations with other nominees and they will be able to watch the rest of the awards from there.
At the venue where the main event is being held, performances by artistes which will be beamed live on the Bulawayo Arts Festival Facebook page and other platforms that will be announced in due course.
RoilBAA spokesperson Nkululeko Nkala said they were happy with the voting and the number of votes in total will be announced after the awards.
He said during the awards, they will be adhering to strict Covid-19 guidelines.
“We are saying, even if you are a nominee, no mask no entry. We want to be strict on this as these are the guidelines that we want to follow as the awards.
“This is the new normal, we have to accept this is the way we shall be doing things,” said Nkala.
Tickets have gone on sale. -Follow on Twitter @bonganinkunzi