By Bongani Ndlovu
ExQ walked away the biggest winner at the National Arts Merit Awards with two gongs while radio personality/comedian Babongile Sikhonjwa, actress Qeqeshiwe Mntambo, Vusa Blaqs and poet Likhwa Ncube had one award each.
The awards ceremony was held in Harare under the theme: ‘African Royalty’.
The event also paid tribute to departed artistes, among them multi-award winners – writer Charles Mungoshi and national hero Oliver Mtukudzi, who died early this year.
ExQ was adjudged to be the Outstanding Male and also clinched the Outstanding Album gong during the ceremony.
Sikhonjwa was adjudged the Outstanding Journalist for Radio while Qeqe walked away with the Outstanding Actress in Theatre award for her role as Pinky in The Hostel.
Outstanding Song, which was really a competition between Zimdancehall artistes, went to Enzo Ishall for his song Kanjiva, beating the highly fancied Sweetie (Shinga Muroora) by Jah Signal.
The Outstanding Female award went to gospel musician Janet Manyowa, the Zadzisa hit maker.
A very big surprise for many, but not for those who follow listenership on radio stations such as Radio Zimbabwe and National FM, was gospel musician Mai Patai who won the People’s Choice Award. She made light work of the likes of Winky D and Seh Calaz.
In the Outstanding Music video category, renowned videographer Vusa Blaqs came up tops for producing Jah Prayzah’s Dzamutsana music video. The scenic music video got rave reviews for its rural traditional setting that brought out the rich cultural diversity Zimbabwe possesses in all corners of the country.
Below is the full list of winners.
1. SPOKEN WORD AWARDS
Likhwa Ncube – aka Likhwa okaNcube
Tanaka Tshuma aka ECTS
Learnmore Mwanyenyeka – aka Long John
2. LITERARY ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding First Creative Published Book
Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama [Ntombekhaya Poetry]
Outstanding Children’s Book
The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda [Pass-Point Publishers]
Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi [DanTs Media Publishing]
3. THEATRE AWARDS
Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
Qeqeshiwe Mtambo in The Hostel
Outstanding Theatrical Production
Ukama by Savanna Trust
Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi
4. DANCE AWARDS
Outstanding Female Dancer
Vein N. Alfazema in Black Sheep
Outstanding Male Dancer
Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
Outstanding Dance Group
Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
Macintosh Jerahuni & Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa
5. VISUAL ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work
The Demolition by John Kotze
Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work
Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
Outstanding Mix Media Work
The Watchman and the Fence I by Greg Shaw
The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda & Talent Kapadza
6. FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS
Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
Outstanding Music Video
Dzamutsana produced by Vusa Hlatshayo ft. Jah Prayzah
Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series)
Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film
Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
Outstanding Screen Production – Full Length Film
Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill
7. MEDIA AWARDS
Outstanding Journalist – Print
Fred Zindi – Standard
Outstanding Journalist – Television
Patience Nyagato – ZTV
Outstanding Journalist – Radio
Babongile Sikhonjwa – Sky Metro FM
Outstanding Online Media
8. MUSIC AWARDS
Outstanding Female Musician
Outstanding Male Musician
Enoch Munhenga aka ExQ – Winner
Tseu Tseu by Enock Munhenga aka ExQ
Kanjiva by Stephen K. Mamhere aka Enzo Ishal
9. SPECIAL AWARDS
Artist in the Diaspora
Danai J. Gurira
Viewers Choice Award
Mai Patai – Winner
Arts Personality Award
Arts Service Award
The Standard Newspaper
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Charles Mungoshi