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2019 NAMAs postponed

The National Arts Merit Awards (NAMAs) have been moved to March 23 from February 16 for logistical reasons.

Ammara Brown seen here at the NAMA awards in 2018
Ammara Brown seen here at the NAMA awards in 2018

This year the theme for Zimbabwe’s premier arts awards event is “African Royalty” and the ceremony will be held at the traditional venue, Harare International Conference Centre.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe acting communications and marketing manager Cathrine Mthombeni said despite the change of dates, preparations were still on course.

“The preparations for the 18th Edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) are on course. NAMA will be held in Harare on 23 March 2019 at Harare International Conference Centre.

“The initial date as per the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe usual calendar was 16 February 2019 and the ceremony has been moved forward due to logistical planning,” said Mthombeni.

She said this year’s theme was meant to encourage artistes to eye the African and global markets.

“This year’s NAMA theme is “African Royalty” and it speaks to the quality and competitiveness of art products from Africa. The world is hungry for Zimbabwean works of art from film, visual arts, music, dance, literature and these should be packaged and marketed accordingly.

“The theme also speaks to the idea of our artists producing work that tells the proudly Zimbabwean story in a quality and global standard,” said Mthombeni.

She said this year there were over 1 400 entries for the awards’ eight categories.

“There are eight NAMA categories that are Music, Literary, Dance, Visual, Film and television, Theatre, Media and Spoken Word. This year’s NAMA edition received a total of 1 436 entries. Those who submitted include production houses, studios, stables, galleries, organisations, associations, groups, artistes, monitors and/or the public,” said Mthombeni.

Part of the adjudication process, Mthombeni added, was conducted throughout the last year and what was left was to announce the nominees.

“Some of the entries were identified by monitors who were appointed by NACZ and kept an eye on any excelling artists throughout the year. Meanwhile, independent adjudicators have been meeting going through the entries in order to come up with winning entries leading to the announcement of nominees. The

Chairperson of the Adjudication Panel is Professor Ruby Magosvongwe, who is a Board Member of NACZ seconded to chair the panel,” said Mthombeni.

NAMA is a platform where NACZ recognizes excellence in creativity and talent. The major aim of the awards is to stimulate artistic creativity and originality.

Besides, the awards aim to inspire artists 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. The Chronicle