CITY of Kings is happy at the nomination of gifted young Bulawayo artists in the 19th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards, announced by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe this week.
The awards take place on 29 February 2020 in the capital, Harare.
Under Theatre, the play ‘Imbokodo’ by Norbert Makoche, which was supported by Nhimbe Trust and well received in performances in both Bulawayo and Harare, received several nominations including Outstanding Theatrical Production; Ronald Madodana Sigeca for Outstanding Actor; Charmaine Mudau and ‘Bonakele’ Agnes Ncube for Outstanding Actress, and Makoche for Outstanding Director. Other members of the cast were Cadrick Msongelwa, Sihle Masuku and Chelesile Mpofu.
Under Film and Television Awards, Nhimbe applauded the nomination of Charmaine Mudau for the Outstanding Actress award for her performance in the film ‘Another Wedding’, and Elton Sibanda, Best Director for the short film ‘Home Affairs’.
Many of these nominees have emerged from the Nhimbe Trust programmes Children in Theatre and Television (CiTT) and Women in Theatre and Television (WiTT), which are supported by long-time cultural partner, Africalia, Belgium, and have produced a number of exciting productions in the programmes’ rich history and a widening pool of talent.
The nominated actresses have passed through the WiTT programme which since 2017 has produced ‘Tellers – The Musical’ and ‘Blood Tongue – The Musical’ in 2018, fostered rich cultural exchange between women artists, nurtured young women in the playing of instruments, and supported a number of new independent initiatives by women artists.
Both Norbert Makoche and Elton Sibanda are former students of the Children in Theatre and Television programme, nurturing young thespians, writers and directors since 2007, when it began as Schools Playwrights and Actors Academy programme and evolved over the next ten years into the pioneering television production and acting programme in 2017. CiTT started with 43 enthusiastic young people between 12 and 17 from local high schools, who were trained in production, acting, camera, directing and editing. Equipment was supported by Nhimbe Trust’s partner Africalia, Belgium, with additional equipment donated by South Tyneside College UK and the Youth Contact Centre in Bulawayo, and implemented in cooperation with local artists and practitioners. Nhimbe also supported the Doug Hill High Schools Drama Festival in Masvingo, in which CiTT members performed with their schools.
To be nominated at such a national level is indeed an honour and landmark in the career of any artist.