By Melissa Mpofu
THE Zimbabwe Music Awards held at the Harare International Conference Centre on Wednesday evening will likely go down as one of the most underwhelming events on the showbiz calendar this year, yet it could have easily gone down as the best.
The much hyped about event, which belonged to Cynthia Mare who scooped most of the awards, left a lot to be desired due to the numerous glitches which could have easily been avoided, with or without funds.
A lot of things went wrong, from poor sound output to not so impressive lighting, dry jokes from some presenters and no podium.
But the main glitch of the night was failure to play clips of the winning songs as the artistes took to the stage to receive their awards.
The ceremony, which was meant to acknowledge and honour musical excellence and creativity, robbed artistes of their chance to shine as the music they spent time working on was not played on the night, save for those who had the golden opportunity to perform their winning tracks live.
It is no secret that most local artistes remain unknown, not because their music is below standard, but because their music does not receive much airplay on radio and television stations.
Wednesday evening, however, presented an opportunity for artistes to shine but alas that was not the case as those who attended or watched the event on television left without knowing some of the award-winning Zima songs.
One would have expected the nominated songs to be played in brief as they were announced in order to give people an appreciation of the award winning works.
Each time an award was presented, people could be heard whispering: “By the way which song is this,” showing that there was a need for people to be acquainted with the nominated songs.
Though there were projectors, they were not put to good use as clips of the nominated and winning music videos were not shown. As a result, some of the winning artistes including Sebastian Magacha and Mare sang parts of their winning songs as they accepted their awards.
South African Idols judge, Randall Abrahams, who was billed to grace the event and present one of the awards, did not pitch up as organisers failed to secure funds for his air ticket and accommodation, leaving the no-nonsense judge with no option but to cancel his appearance.
“We would have really loved Randall to be with us today but that didn’t happen because we couldn’t get an air ticket and secure accommodation for him,” said a disappointed Zima chairman, Joseph Nyadzayo.
Despite the glitches, artistes are to be commended for supporting the event as they thronged the venue in numbers. Their performances were up to scratch with recipients of the International Achievers’ Award, Mokoomba, staging a world class act — proving to people why they are popular outside the country.
Souljah Love also showed why Zimdancehall was the most sought after genre in the country as he wowed the audience with a performance of his hit track Ndini Uya Uya. A notable figure at the awards ceremony was man of the moment in Zimdancehall circles, Tocky Vibes.
One could have sworn he had rented the audience as the crowds kept shouting his name each time a category they felt he deserved to be in such as Best Newcomer and Best Dancehall Song was announced. Tocky Vibes was, however, not nominated in this year’s awards.
The City of Kings and Queens was well represented by presenters Mbo Mahocs and Gilmore Tee who keep rising. The two rocked the red carpet dressed elegantly by local designers. Their stage presence could be felt as they presented the Best House Music Award to Khuxxman who was however not at the awards ceremony.
Not to be outdone were members of the public who attended the awards ceremony dressed to impress. Sam’s Limousines did not disappoint either as the nominated artistes were chauffeur-driven in stretch limousines, befitting their star status.
Though Mare bagged most awards, it was Cde Chinx, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, who came out the biggest winner of the night after being awarded a house at Sentossa suburb in Harare in appreciation of his contribution to the local arts industry.
Presenting the award to Cde Chinx, Zima chairman, Nyadzayo said Cde Chinx had taught people resistance and unity. He urged the corporate world to support next year’s awards ceremony so as to ensure that the production flows smoothly.
“Organising this event is not an easy task. You need a lot of support to get this thing running and I hope that a lot of players will come on board next year,” said Nyadzayo. The Chronicle
And the winners are:
Best Traditional Music – Jah Prayzah (Tsviriyo)
Best Contemporary Choral Music – UFIC Choir (Devine Solutions)
Best A’capella – Black Umfolosi (Summertime)
Best Sungura Music – Sulumani Chimbetu (Syllabus)
Best Hip Hop Music – Tehn Diamond (Tehn Diamond)
Best House Music – Khuxxman (Vumelani Isangoma)
Best RandB/Soul Music – Audious Mtawarira (House of Stones)
Best Afro Pop Music – Ex Q (Music Bank)
Best Dancehall Music – Souljah Love (Ndini Uya Uya)
Best Jazz Music – Ruzivo and Clare Nyakudyara (Ndega Zvangu)
Best Traditional Gospel Music – Mathias Mhere (Anoita Minana)
Best Contemporary Gospel Music – Sebastian Magacha (Tinaye Faithful God)
Best Collaboration – Sanni Makhalima and Umsindo All Stars (Zvachose)
Best Single of the Year – Cynthia Mare (Zuvarimwe/ Dai Zvaibvira)
Best Music Video Of the Year – Nick Compas (Ingoma – DJ Stavo)
Best Producer of the Year – Sani Makhalima (Evolution Reloaded)
Best Engineer of the Year – Obediah Matulana (Isimbazo/ Chimbadzo)
Best Male Artiste – Souljah Love (Ndini Uya Uya)
Best Female Artiste – Cynthia Mare (Songs My Mother loved)
Song of the year – Leonard Zhakata
Best Newcomer – Malimbah (African Sun)
Best Duo/Group – UFIC Choir (We are Family)
Best Album of the Year – Jah Prayzah (Tsviriyo)
International Achievers Award – Mokoomba
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dickson Chingaira