THE Lounge nightclub on Wednesday night hosted a National Merit Awards (Nama) send-off party for nominated Bulawayo artistes in a colourful event that was attended by scores of revellers.
Bulawayo’s finest artistes were given a big send-off at the occasion that was marked by excitement and happiness as artistes that excelled in various genrés were honoured for uplifting the city’s name in entertainment.
Artistes were presented with certificates of appreciation in honour of what they were doing for the city’s arts industry.
Comedian Babongile Sikhonjwa was the master of ceremonies and he kept the crowd entertained with hilarious jokes and was cheered each time he took to the mic.
The renowned comedian has fully recovered from a near fatal car crash he was involved in December 2014 while returning from an all-white party hosted by top South African female DJ Zinhle. It left him in the intensive care unit of Mpilo Central Hospital.
All artistes received standing ovations and cheers of approval from the highly appreciative crowd that attended the party.
Speaking on behalf of the nominated artistes, Witness Kumbota, a theatre artiste and stage director, said they were grateful people in Bulawayo who supported the cause of artistes and showed their appreciation by honouring them.
“All I can say is that thanks to the organisers of the event. This shows that there are people who wish Bulawayo well at the national awards and as artistes we promise we will keep our fingers crossed that the people of Zimbabwe will vote for us,” Kumbota said.
Reuben Mlauzi of Iyasa said it was a great honour for him to be nominated as it showed that his work as an artiste was being recognised.
“I am happy for the fact that my work and that of my colleague, Cheryl has been reorganised. It means that we have done the whole Iyasa group proud. We will continue working hard as artistes to get the prestigious award at the national event,” he said.
Bulawayo-based artistes are expected to leave today for Harare where the Nama would be held tomorrow night.
Before tomorrow’s awards at 7 Arts Theatre at the Avondale shopping centre, all artistes will attend a cocktail party at Cresta Hotel.
Nominated for the 14th edition of the Nama are Clifford Zulu, Nelson Mapako, Memory Kumbota, Sithandazile Dube, Clive Chigubhu, Josephine Mugiyo, Raisedon Baya, Mhle Nzima, Richard Ndlovu, Cheryl Mabaya and Reuben Mlauzi.