By Sharon Muguwu
HARARE – David Mubaiwa, who has attained national acclaim for his role as Sabhuku Vharazipi, is a bitter man after being snubbed by the National Arts Merit Award (Nama).
Despite the popularity of the hilarious Sabhuku Vharazipi 1 and 2 by Masvingo-based Ziya Cultural Theatre Club, the comedy was not even nominated for the 13th Nama that took place in Bulawayo last Saturday.
“Handigoni, ndosaka vasina kundisarudza (They did not select me because I am not good),” a cynical Mubaiwa told the Daily News.
“They (Nama judges) think that I am not good at what I do but whenever I walk around excited fans mob me. Wherever I go I can’t even manage to take a few steps before my fans come my way begging me to pose for photographs with them. That to me says a lot; so I thank God for that.”
The comical actor believes he was not considered for a Nama award because Sabhuku Vharazipi does not have many followers among the elite.
“I noticed that they mostly gave awards to elitist works and as such I stood no chance because Ziya Cultural Theatre Club is from a rural setting.
“The truth is I don’t know the criteria they used to select winning entries so it will be very difficult to disagree with their choices. That would be akin to a mere student attempting to go against a teacher’s word,” he said.
Mubaiwa insisted yesterday that the Nama snub would not discourage him from entertaining thousands of adoring fans scattered all over Zimbabwe.
“The important thing for me is to continue to make use of the talent that I was given by God and I will continue to do exactly that,” he said.
Audrey Charamba, the assistant director arts promotions and development at the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz) was not very forthcoming when the Daily News sought reasons why Sabhuku Vharazipi did not even make the Nama nomination stage.
Charamba referred the Daily News to the speech made by Nacz deputy director Nicholas Moyo at the Nama awards ceremony last Saturday.
Parts of Moyo’s speech read, “In some instances, the adjudicators bemoaned the quality of submissions that did not portray the actual levels of artistic excellence and innovation.
“It could have been that the artistes faced challenges of resources enabling them to submit adequately, or in some instances, lack of care on the part of the entrants. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of adhering to submission requirements.” Daily News