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Kumbota slams award seeking artistes

By Bongani Ndlovu

Veteran actor and director Memory Kumbota says there is a danger that people are now putting out work just to get nominated and win awards.

Memory Kumbota
Memory Kumbota

Kumbota is nominated in the Outstanding Director category at the Bulawayo Arts Awards that will be held on June 29. He directed the play Garden of Dreams which tackles mental health issues.

Kumbota said while elated that he was nominated for the first time in Bulawayo, he said people should be alert that they do not churn out art work just to win an award.

“There’s a danger that because of these awards people are creating works to win awards. We started off a long time ago when awards weren’t there. If the work is nominated and wins, it ends there (you won’t see it again) or if it isn’t nominated they forget about that work. I just do the work that I do out of passion, if it gets recognition it gets recognition,” said Kumbota.

He said whenever he was involved in a production; he was not looking at being nominated but to challenge his abilities.

“When we do the art that we do, a nomination is the last thing on your mind. For this nomination, I didn’t even submit and someone else nominated me. I was pleasantly surprised on the day of the nomination when my name was called out.

“At the end of the day I do art in order to challenge myself. The plays that I do most of the times, I want to break barriers and try new things that I haven’t tried before. The more I do that the more I challenge myself to be better. I’m in a competition with myself,” said Kumbota.

He said his desire was to see the growth of arts and healthy competition was good.

“If you get nominated and win always you get to a point that you say to yourself why we can’t give others a chance. No matter how good you are and you get nominated and win every year for the same award, I don’t think the satisfaction will be there.

“In my case this is the first time I’ve been nominated for theatre in the city and not the country and I think I’m satisfied to be nominated,” said Kumbota who has won a National Art Merit Award for being the Outstanding actor.

Turning to his career, Kumbota said people should expect more this year.

“I’m working on a couple of collaborations, one is going to be a big musical show. And the other I want to do a collaboration with a visual artiste with installation art as part of the performance. I just want to further challenge myself,” said Kumbota. The Chronicle