Of drama and politics surrounding awards season

12 Oct, 2021 - 15:10 0 Views
Of drama and politics surrounding awards season


Langalakhe Mabena

It’s almost the end of the year and many creatives around the country are looking forward to either being nominated or better off clinching an award for their works during the course of the year.

Zim Hip Hop Awards will be happening soon.

Zimbabwe Music Awards (ZIMA) and the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA), are slated for the first quarter of the year 2022.

The city’s most prestigious Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) have since revealed the nominations for the fifth edition of the affair which is slated for 6 November.

Just like every year, already drama mill is on in the city as some believe the hardest working, those whose songs made an impact on people’s lives, generated views and had successful records of streaming, are not nominated.

Some of the names that are pointed out for not being given a chance in Bulawayo, are Ntabazinduna-bred muso Makhoe Drey, Canaan Nyathi, United Kingdom -based RnB songstress Joy Rukanza, to mention a few.

Makhoe Drey made a huge collaboration this year after featuring South African multi-award-winning rapper Big Zulu on a track titled Emazweni.

Gospel sensation Canaan Nyathi’s hit song Baba Ziveze was crowned Song of The Year at the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation Crown Gospel Awards (SABCCGA).

This year he is set to make history again as he is nominated four times at the SABCCGA.

Indeed, a prophet doesn’t have honour in his home.

Numbers don’t lie, and if we all agree on that, Joy Rukanza was the most hard-working female artiste from Bulawayo this year.

Her collaboration with Mzansi’s Kid X on the song New Day, took the world by storm as it went on to enjoy a good rotation on video channels like Trace Africa, Channel O and MTV.

To crown it all, Joy Rukanza, jetted into Zimbabwe to launch her latest music video Queendom last week at Bulawayo Centre’s Ster Kinekor cinema at a colourful intimate event graced by loyal fans and friends.

12 October Joy Rukanza declaring she is the Best New Comer

If the crown fits on your head, then you can wear it.

All of a sudden, Joy developed guts to “officially” crown herself as the Most Outstanding new comer in Zimbabwe (way beyond Bulawayo).

As she is used to protest petitions mostly publicly done in the UK, Rukanza posted a picture of herself carrying a banner inscribed, “Best Newcomer of the year.

Period!”, and social media went crazy after her post.

In as much as many people feel she was undermined by the founders of RoilBAA, it still remains unknown if ever she self-nominated or fans nominated her.

Remember, those who submit their material are the “only” ones to be considered for nominations.

Enough about drama, awards are also political.

Some believe most of the nominated creatives are affiliated to the creators of the awards (this also happens all over the world, with the most scandalous ones in years being the South African Music Awards).

The unfairness of “various” awards has seen some artistes boycotting them.

In 2019, South Africa-based legendary DJ Oskido rejected a RoilBAA nomination, and this year Tshibilika musician Martin of the Ndolwane Super Sounds was reported by our sister paper The Chronicle as having boycotted the awards.

Lately, a troubled Zim Dancehall soul in the name of Poptain of the Fadza Mutengi fame, poured out his heart on social media in as far as awards nominations and winning them is concerned.

“……I don’t recognise the industry based on these awards as they are (not) arranged on a fair basis. If for the whole year radio (stations) have been playing you, and you don’t get awarded, it only means there is a flaw on keeping yearly musical track records.

“So, from now on, if an award is to be brought on my table, it should be of a million I made, otherwise, am not going for broke (awards) so should you,” said Poptain.

12 October Poptain’s post on Facebook

He believes sponsors are exploiting artistes as they appear once in their lives (to sponsor awards) while they don’t support them during the course of the year.

“Music and a bag of mealie-meal carry the same commodity value. Companies depend on you (artiste) to marketing them, and these award companies make fame from awarding you and getting paid from that so they can do a next show the following year.

“Awards companies and their folks start making money from our submissions on their websites, the more traffic the more revenue so what are they bringing your way?” asked Poptain.

From all his queries and frustrations, to be simplified, Poptain is crying for fairness and transparency of awards and that corporates that sponsor awards should always be on the ground to support struggling artistes.

RoilBAAs are expected to be on another level this year.

The best winner will go away with a housing stand, a move that is aimed at uplifting the lives of artistes.

Sponsors have come on board despite being hit by Covid-19 to invest in the arts industry through awards.

A call for transparency, especially of the voting system, was made by the artistes.



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