Umkhathi Theatre Works and renowned poet Obert Dube were some of the award winners at the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) held at the HICC, Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare on 25 February 2023.
Umkhathi was nominated three times courtesy of their epic play Bayethe Nkosi, on the Outstanding Actor category (Ismael Mavingi), Outstanding (Matesu Dube) and for Outstanding Theatrical Production and scooped an award in the last category.
Bayethe Nkosi’s concept came from Nkosikhona Ndlovu with the script written by Thabani Hillary Moyo.
It is a re-imagination of the heroic historical events that King Lobengula and his impis got engaged in.
On their win, the Matesu Dube said: “As Umkhathi we feel more than happy for our play Bayethe Nkosi to get the Outstanding Theatrical Production at the Namas. We put much effort and resources in the production of that play. It makes us proud of our work.
“Well, on the awards we missed, we hope to improve next time, remember we were nominated with better resourced creatives who own a Theatre and they rehearse there every day and host their shows there and we use a makeshift rehearsal space and only book the theatre for shows.
“So, we have to look for resources to book the theatre for rehearsals so that we can work on all the aspects of the show at the venue where we will perform. We need to go an extra mile in directing and acting on set and see how it comes out.
“We will do more shows this year in Bulawayo and hopefully resources permitting, we hope to take it to other cities and also apply for staging in festivals out of Zimbabwe,” said Dube.
Renowned poet Obert Dube added a tenth award to his collection after scooping the Outstanding Poet Award.
The award becomes his third Nama following another win last year and his first in 2015. The latest award was to honour him for his poetry album “Gadla” which was released last year. It was the first to feature more than 10 poets including Awa Khiwe, Albert Nyathi, Sithandazile Dube and Desire Moyoxide.
Dube said the awards he has won were a sign that his history in Zimbabwean poetry would not be erased.
“In any field, it’s wise to create an avenue for rising team players and with my contributions to poetry, both locally and regionally, I think I’ve come close to being called a poetry legend. I, however, still consider myself an amateur because I still want to achieve more.
“I feel humbled that I retained the award and I’ve God to thank for everything. For this one, I really had self-doubt. Even the nomination came as a shocker and winning the award was the least of my expectations,” said Dube.
NACZ received over 2 135 entries from artistes covering areas such as Binga, Plumtree, Gwanda, Chinhoyi, Mutare, Marondera, Masvingo, Gweru, Ntabazinduna, Bulawayo and Harare.
Below is the full list of winners:
1 DANCE AWARDS
Outstanding Female Dancer:
Ndomupeishe Chipendo in Teleunga
Outstanding Male Dancer:
Terrence Kapesa in A Kid from Bulawayo
Outstanding Dance Group:
Elysium Magna Dance Theatre in Birth of Christ
Outstanding Dance Choreographer:
Sean Mambwere in Silently Complicated
2 VISUAL ARTS AWARDS
Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work:
Celebrating Together by Taurai Chinofura
Outstanding Mixed Media:
Mysterical Revealer by Terrence Musekiwa
A Book that Cannot be Read by Allison Baker curated by Fadzai Muchemwa
3 SPOKEN WORD AWARDS
Mukudzei Kandoro Majoni aka King Kandoro
Outstanding Social Media Skits:
Theophilus Chigumira aka Mai Kirifodhi
4 MEDIA AWARDS
Outstanding Journalist – Print:
Nyadzombe Nyampenza – Newsday
Outstanding Journalist – Radio:
Owen Madondo – Star FM
Outstanding Journalist – Television:
Colette Musanyera – ZBC
Outstanding – Online Media:
5 THEATRE AWARDS
Shaun Mundawarara as Collymore in The Play that Goes Wrong
Min’enhle Mguni as Renee Stokes in Heartbreak Mafia
Outstanding Theatrical Production:
Bayethe Nkosi by Umkhathi Theatre
Sue Bolt in The Play that Goes Wrong
6 LITERARY AWARDS
Outstanding First Creative Published Work:
The Madman on First Street and other stories by David Chasumba
Outstanding Children’s Book:
Sloba and the Chameleonaire by Costa Chayambuka
Outstanding Fiction Book:
The Quality of Mercy by Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu
Outstanding Poetry Book:
Starfish Blossoms by Samantha R Vazhure
7 FILM AND TELEVISION AWARDS
Searchmore Takavada as Husband in 3 days in March
Sylvia Mavezere as Wife in 3 days in March
Outstanding Music Video:
Fight For Me by Mann Friday, Directed by Kalai Faye Barlow
Outstanding Screen Production (Television):
Intab’Enkulu Directed by Kuda Bryan Bwititi
Outstanding Screen Production (Short Length Film):
3 Days in March Directed by Kuda Bryan Bwititi
Outstanding Screen Production (Full Length Film):
Ngoda Directed by Joe Njagu and Eddie Sandifolo
8 MUSIC AWARDS
Outstanding New Comer:
Leo Magozz, Bling 4 and Brian Jeck
Outstanding Female Musician:
Outstanding Male Musician:
Emegy Chizanga aka Freeman
Fire Emoji by Tavonga Leo Magombedze (Leo Magozz), Farai Gadzani (Bling 4) and Brian
Kadyamarunga (Brian Jeck)
David and Goliath by Emegy Chizanga aka Freeman
9 SPECIAL AWARDS
Promoter Of The Year:
Outstanding Artist In The Diaspora:
Arts Service Award:
Davidson S Maruziva
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Barbara Makhalisa Nkala
Arts Personality Award:
People’s Choice Award:
Theophilus Chigumira aka Mai Kirifodhi