The number of entries for the Zimbabwe National Arts Merit Awards has declined by more than 300 entries compared to last year’s submissions ahead of its edition scheduled for 18 February at the 7 Arts in Avondale, Harare.
Figures that were released by the awards organisers, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), reveal that only 775 entries were submitted from across the country ahead of the 30 November deadline, a drop of 329 from 1 104 entries submitted for last year’s edition.
Catherine Mthombeni spokesperson of NACZ said some of the entries in the categories were identified by monitors, whom they appointed to keep an eye on excelling artists throughout the year.
“A total of 775 NAMA entries were submitted from throughout Zimbabwe and the adjudication process has commenced,” she said.
“Those, who submitted entries, include production houses, studios, music stables, galleries, arts organisations and associations, groups, artistes, monitors and the public.
“There are eight categories, namely music, literary, dance, visual, film and television, theatre, media and spoken word. Two more categories include special awards as well as the people’s choice. The two special awards are arts service award and arts personality award.”
Mthombeni said the people’s choice award would be won by an artist who gets voted by the most people through a platform to be announced soon.
She said preparations for the awards ceremony, which is to be managed and organised by AB Communications, were on course, with nominees to be released on 2 February.
“A panel of independent adjudicators is now presiding over all the submitted entries to select nominees as well as winners for each award,” Mthombeni said.
“Nama seeks to inspire artistes to strive for higher and original forms of creativity and provide an opportunity for arts disciplines to jointly market and publicise the arts locally, regionally and internationally,” she said.
Through NAMAs, NACZ promotes outstanding achievements within the creative sector by rewarding excelling artistes.
This article was originally published in NewsDay on 13 January 2017.