Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

ZIMA awards a damp squib

By Tafadzwa Zimoyo

Of course, they did not live to their billing as national awards, without big names like Jah Prayzah, Winky D and Alick Macheso, among others.

Mambo Dhuterere delivers a speech after scooping Best Traditional Gospel music award
Mambo Dhuterere delivers a speech after scooping Best Traditional Gospel music award

And, indeed they fell short of anything the regional and international community can talk about, let alone emulate.

It became a game of numbers and not quality.


That almost three quarters of the winners were not present at the event, made the event a damp squib.

Organisers of Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) still need to wake up and smell the coffee, learn something from other regional and international awards and change their attitude.

Had they applied their minds to this reality, they could have averted a false start.

I call it a false start for lack of diction.

Although the 8th edition of the ZIMA awards bounced back after a lull, many awards fanatics including musicians thought the “resurrection” would bring the glitz, glamour, fairness, structured and fun but somehow this was not to be.

Were they ready this year or we have to give them time to go back where they were hiding past years. Then they can come ‘matured’ and ‘educated’?

Or should we give them time to really ‘resurrect’, remember when one is resurrecting he or she takes time, slowly trying to take space.

Besides on all fairness, like they say, every ‘dark cloud has a silver lining’, the awards had their share too of positivity.

Here are the star acts and bloopers of the ZIMA 2020 edition held at the weekend at Newlands Country Club, Harare.

Star acts

Kudos should be given to the sponsors and organisers for resurrecting ZIMA at the right time, considering that artists need to be appreciated and recognised.

By the way, the awards’ major sponsor was PPC Zimbabwe.

The event saw the who’s who in the entertainment industry dressed up for the occasion.

Guests too had to enjoy not only the performances, but were served finger food.

The organisers deemed it necessary too, to celebrate the awards in style as they remembered yesteryear’s legends by giving their sons and daughters an opportunity to perform their father’s songs.

The likes of Chengeto Brown, Tendai Chimombe and Sulumani Chimbetu, put up a scintillating performances as they left the crowd crying for more.

The performances were well-choreographed that you could remain glued to the stage.

Hosts for the night Rebecca Muchenje “Miss Becky” and Godfrey “Chief” Koti need no introduction and delivered a polished act.

Who knew the two are intelligent enough to do an impromptu at an awards session?


Definitely they managed to stick to the programme and flawlessly went on well. The stage and lightning was amazing as it coordinated well with the presenters and performances.

Again, there were too many ushers in black who served a great purpose as they could direct you from after the red carpet to where you are supposed to sit.

It was well coordinated.

For an awards show where you have a clean set up like what was witnessed at ZIMA, it is a mammoth task.

Again sponsors had to have their “feel” at the awards as they took an opportunity to present awards.

They also gave upcoming artists a platform to shine henceforth scooping awards.

Ishan of the Kure fame emerged as the biggest winner, including Gemma Griffiths and Freeman.


The last edition saw ZIMA being criticised for the same mistakes that emerged at Newlands Country Club.

Time management was poor. This disease needs to be cured fast.

The event was scheduled to start at 7pm, but started two hours later, of which, the red carpet rolled out around 5pm and obvious fashionistas, musicians and celebrities got tired before the event.

Guests became hungry and complained about the delay as no one cared to explain why things were running late.

There was no entertainment during that confusion, forcing guests to entertain themselves with their mobile phones, taking selfies.

Food was later served around past 8pm, but still the delay affected everything.

Let us go back to the red carpet.

Did the organisers do their homework about the red carpet or it was a hurried decision?

For a start, it was centred far away from the entrance and worse in the cricket ground (lawn) which affected some guests especially the ladies because soon after the red carpet interviews they struggled to walk.

This resulted in some guests snubbing the red carpet because it was too far.

Besides, it was boring and lame, one would not think it was an awards show but some “lotto promotion slot” as it had no glamour and power in it.

Big artists, musicians in particular, especially the nominees who turned out to be winners were conspicuous by their absence.

The ceremony was short of big names like Jah Prayzah, Winky D, Ammara Brown, Seh Claz, Freeman, Selmor Mtukudzi, Enzo Ishall, Mudiwahood, Stunner and Macheso among others.

It was a sham.

In fact, it made the likes of Mambo Dhuterere, Ishan and Fusion 5 so big that they thought they have made it.


One of the presenters Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa tried to play down the embarrassment of artists snubbing the event by paying tribute to ZIMA founder chairperson Joseph Nyadzayo.

Again it was suggestive, high sounding but signifying nothing.

Giving the late Andy Brown a Lifetime Achievement award left people questioning the adjudicators’ formula

They seemed to act in sympathy that he did not win any awards during his lifetime.

It boggles the mind why Oliver Mtukudzi, Leonard Dembo, Simon Chimbetu, John Chibadura and James Chimombe, among others, were not considered for the award.

That could have made sense.

The winners list too made the crowd remonstrate.

The question on everyone’s lips, is did they send invitations to some of the nominees and were snubbed?

You could hear representatives reading messages on stage each time some winners were called on stage, because all were believed to be on tour.

There is need to learn the National Anthem because very few can sing it as was the case at the awards ceremony.

Here are the winners:

Best Female Artist of the Year — Gemma Griffiths

Best Male Artist of the Year — Ishan

Best Group/ Duo of the Year — Fusion 5 Mangwiro

Best Newcomer of the Year — Ishan

Best Album of the Year — Gango – Freeman

Zimdancehall — Freeman

Sungura — Nicholas Zachariah

Hip Hop — Takura

Afropop — Ishan

Contemporary Gospel — Janet Manyowa

Traditional Gospel — Mambo Dhuterere

R&B & Soul — Gemma Griffiths

Jazz — Willis waTaffi Afirika

Dance (House/Gqom/Kwaito/EDM) — DJ Stavo

Tshibilika — Clement Magwaza

Traditional Folk (Chinyakare/Chimurenga) — Andy Muridzo

Traditional Folk (Ezomdabu/Imbube) — Indosakusa

Best Alternative — Sylent Nqo

Special Awards

Zim Icon – Retro Female — Chiwoniso Maraire

Zim Icon – Retro Male — Simon Chimbetu

Lifetime Achievement Award — Andy Brown

Best International Zim Artist — Sha sha

Best Collaboration — ‘Mugarden’ – Winky D ft. Gemma

Best DJ — DJ Stavo

Best Promoter — Impala Car Rental

Best Corporate Sponsors — Econet Wireless

Technical Awards

Best Music Video — ‘Ngaibake’ – Freeman ft. Alick Macheso

Videographer of the Year — Umsebenzi Ka Blaqs

Producer of the Year — Oskid

Engineer of the Year — GT Beats

Song of the Year — ‘Murgaden’ – Winky D ft. Gemma Griffiths
The Herald