Amakhosi founder Cont Mhlanga said directors of the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards were supposed to run a good research on the arts industry before launching their awards which are quickly losing their lustre.
The BAAs are in their third year this year.
Speaking after Kwaito guru, Oskido and a local film production turned down BAA’s nomination Cont said this was a sign of poor research from the side of the organisers and that their awards were based on emotions and not the industry.
“Awards are based on the industry not on organisers, but it seems in this case the organisers have personalised these awards instead of making them more to be about the arts industry,” said Mhlanga.
Explaining the withdrawal of artistes from the awards, the retired playwright said, was one sign that organisers of the awards were merely seeking relevance through artistes instead of giving their own awards relevance for artistes to long for the gongs.
“An award should be relevant on its own but in this case it appears as if these organisers are seeking relevance from artistes,”
“Awards are not supposed to be based on enthusiastic individuals,” he added.
He added that awards were supposed to be committed to the industry and if they lost that commitment they would become disruptive which would later result in people distancing themselves from the awards.
“When awards lose their commitment to the industry they become disruptive hence no one wants to be associated with them.
“Awards are expected to be committed to the industry but when they lose this touch they become disruptive which is why some people have become afraid to be associated with them,” he said.
Mhlanga said the bigger problem with the awards was they were based on emotions not credibility.
“One of the biggest problems is that the BAAs are based on emotions not credibility. They were founded after a few individuals felt left out then they thought having the awards would help infiltrate the industry,” he said. He said it did not make sense for a local personality to have zero nominations in a local award yet the same person was nominated at national awards.
“How does one explain a scenario whereby a local personality is nominated at national awards but not nominated at their own home awards, this is a sign of contradiction and is messing up the arts industry,” Cont said.
“Why then would a serious artiste want to be part of such awards?” he asked.