THIS year’s National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) ceremony will not have the outstanding dance group and outstanding choreographer nominees in the dance category according to an announcement made yesterday by Nama chairperson of the adjudication committee Ruby Magosvongwe.
In a statement, Magosvongwe said in dance, the entries submitted showed a lack of seriousness and the adjudicators noted that there were no significant and appropriate dance productions that were submitted.
“A number of the works submitted in this category were not well packaged,” she wrote.
She added that in the visual arts, challenges were observed in some of the entries that depicted poor picture quality, evidence that low-level cameras were used for the filming and this unfortunately made it difficult for the adjudicators to assess the quality of the work produced.
Magosvongwe, however, noted that there was a marked increase in spoken word, theatre, literary arts and film entries as entries in the film segment were of a very high standard and most of them are of a global competitive nature.
The 19th Nama ceremony will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) on February 29.
“A total of 1 290 entries were received at the close of the nomination period and thereafter a panel of independent adjudicators was appointed to preside over all the submissions. Over the past two months, using pre-determined criteria, these adjudicators have been engaged in a rigorous judging process,” Magosvongwe said.
She added that this process was based on submitted entries as well as those identified by individual and institutional monitors appointed to track excelling artists throughout the year.
Magosvongwe said seasoned and highly professional adjudicators in various genres adjudged the entries submitted and only works that were produced between December 1, 2018 and November 30, 2019 were judged.
The 19th Nama council is pleased to unveil two new categories of awards: Outstanding Poetry Book and Outstanding New Comer in Music.
She said these awards are in response to industry needs and their introduction follows sector-wide consultations.
“Turning to the submissions, the adjudicators noted that there was a lot of artistic depth in the entries submitted across all disciplines.”
“The adjudicators also witnessed that in some areas like theatre and film, there was high competitiveness as artists were pushing the bar to produce quality projects and the artists were also commended for a lot of originality and innovation exhibited in the entries submitted for the awards,” she wrote.
Submissions for the 19th Nama closed on November 30, 2019 and the submissions for the 20th Nama edition immediately opened where all works of art produced after the December 1, 2019 are eligible for consideration and nomination forms are available at the designated points.
The rebranded events will fall under the theme “Taking Nama to the People” and Jacaranda Culture and Media Corporation (JCMC) with the support of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and other various partners will be leading Nama for the next five years starting this year.
Nama will start on February 28 with artist forums and exhibitions and then the much awaited nominees party, red carpet and fashion police as well as the awards ceremony would be held on February 29, at the HICC.