Sulu steals Nama thunder


HARARE – Dendera musician Suluman Chimbetu walked to the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) podium three times at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo on Saturday night.

Sulu hogged the limelight at the 12th edition of the Namas — the first one to be held outside Harare by bagging The Outstanding Male Musician, Outstanding Album and The People’s Choice Award for his chart-topping album, Syllabus which was released in November last year.

Clad in a shiny black and blue suit, Sulu could not hide his joy as he walked up to the podium three times accompanied by his beautiful wife Linda, uncle Alan and members of his Orchestra Dendera Kings band.

His captivating album which carries the hot favourite Sean Timba with its popular chorus Batai Munhu got the better of Blessing Shumba’s Shongwe and Love Yemusoja by Donald Chirisa who is also known as Sniper Storm.

The treble winner paid tribute to his late father Simon “Chopper” Chimbetu.

“My father died before I had won any award but I believe he is looking down from above and is celebrating my success,” Sulu said to wild applause.

While the Bulawayo Namas belonged to Sulu, the same cannot be said of businessman-cum -musician Energy Mutodi who made a premature exit from the awards venue before the announcement of the winner of The Outstanding Music Video of the Year.

Juntal’s video for Amai Bhoyi beat Mutodi’s Ruvimbo and Mativenga by Rockford Josphats better known as Roki.

The former Big Brother star did not attend the awards and was represented by Mafriq’s Lovedale Makalanga who goes by the name Discord.

Bulawayo artistes Israel, Davina Jogi, journalist Sifiso Mpofu,Iyasa’s Magesh, Siphephiso Magonya , Arthur Ndlovu, Qeqeshiwe Mntambo and Gugulethu Ndlovu did the City of Kings proud by winning in the various categories they had been nominated.

Other winners on the night included Sniper Storm, popularly known as the general, who took home the Outstanding Song award while mbira queen Hope Masike was conferred with the Outstanding Female Musician award.

Chipaz Promotions director Patson Chimbodza grabbed Promoter of the Year award which he dedicated to the late sungura star Tongai Dhewa Moyo.

Daily News Band of the Year Mokoomba justified the accolade they received from the country’s leading daily newspaper by winning the Arts Personality of the Year Award which was received on their behalf by Zimbabwe football legend Peter Ndlovu since the band is currently participating in an arts festival in Zanzibar.

Popular urban groover Enock “Knox” Guni who had two Nama nominations surprisingly walked away empty-handed despite his song Ndinonyara being the darling of many Zimbabwean music fans.

Various Bulawayo artistes put up scintillating performances during the glitzy event which went some way in cementing Bulawayo’s status as the cultural hub of the nation.

The hilarious Iyasa, Family Voices, Jazz maestro Jeys Marabini, Ex-Afrika Revenge star vocalist Willis Wattafi, fledgling rapper Junior Brown and Take5 delighted the packed Bulawayo City Hall crowd which included guest of honour Oliver Mtukudzi, Education minister David Coltart and his deputy Lazarus Dokora, State Enterprises and Parastatals minister Gorden Moyo and several diplomats. – Nyasha Chingono

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