Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THE new National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) organisers, Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC), have spelt out plans to host a three-day awards ceremony as part of tweaks to Zimbabwe’s premier awards showcase.
JCMC who also host the Dream Star talent show, penned a five-year deal to host the Namas with the National Arts of Council Zimbabwe (NACZ). Managing Director of JCMC, Napoleon “Napster” Nyanhi, said they want to build on the previous Namas.He said as part of the revamp of the awards, they want to have a three-day event.
“We want the event to be massive. In our plans for next year’s Nama, it’ll ideally be held over three days. The first day will be for exhibitions and interaction. The second one will be the awards ceremony that will have a nominees party and the last day will be the after party which will be in the form of a bash,” said Napster. Previous Nama ceremonies have been blighted by logistical bleeps such as artistes, especially from outside the capital (where the ceremony has been traditionally held), finding it difficult to get there and facing accommodation challenges.
But according to Napster, all this will soon be water under the bridge as they will have ample time to plan for the awards show.“I think with enough planning and time, we can tie down all the details of where people can stay, where they’ll eat, how they’re going to get to the venues and all. So, once we know the nominees in January, we shall allocate our partners to see who does what,” said Napster.
He said they have been continually engaging sponsors to partner with them so that those who win awards, at least get something significant.
“When a company sponsors an award, they should be a minimum amount they should pay. We’ve started to engage sponsors and there are two that are on board, but we can’t reveal them yet. “On top of that, sponsors will add items that are relevant to their product to the gong.” As a way to make the awards ceremony meaningful, Napster further revealed that they want to help plug artistes into international festivals.
“For the coming editions, we want a situation where as one of the prizes of winning a Nama, the artiste is linked to a festival, a recording or publishing deal. “We’ve got links with Universal Records in South Africa and some in Nigeria and we can use these regional, continental and international links to plug in artistes,” he said.
The team that will work with Napster’s organisation during their five-year tenure includes organisers of the successful Bulawayo Arts Awards (Saimon Mambazo Phiri).
“We can’t hide that the BAAs have been the most critically acclaimed awards ceremony in the last five years or so.
‘‘The last one was very much loved by people and I even tweeted that how come I’m not seeing any criticism of this event. It’s a given that after an awards ceremony, there’s vitriol so we’ve engaged the producers of the BAAs to come help us,” said Napster.