Bonfire of vanities Part Two: Beauty wars

Now the beauty queens who first had to get licences in order to get their prize cars must surely think that the fairy godmother had best inhabit the realm of fantasy.

The magic wand did not really change their world and that after the ball, like Cinderella, they must return to the proverbial rags.
Such is the showbiz universe, we insist.

It is laden with smokes and screens. I am filled with alacrity as I watch the unravelling of the soapie. To tell someone, after winning a competition that you will not give them the advertised prize must approximate a breach of contract.

You do not stage the event if you do not have money. It is this simple: Hand over the pledged prizes. It is disingenuous to claim that you did not have the money after having enticed entrants to make the leap.

A fortune spent in a time of woe . . .

The reported amount spent for the event was $500 000! Man I can give you one million things to do with that kind of amount. Zesa folk had to make sure that there was enough power at the event.

Power, power, power! Ok, let’s look at this thing again. What cost $500 000? If the winners’ prizes of a couple of small-time cars are not included in the bill? Food? The artists who performed? Hardly. Anyway as we said last week, if you are to be a beauty queen, think again.

It is the ultimate hoax to believe that you can actually be more beautiful than the next woman. I know a guy who believes that his gap- toothed queen is the ultimate super chick. Try telling him about Halle Berry or Toni Braxton.

The return of the Zimbabwe music awards
Through this column, we have been advising people with an abiding interest in our creative industries to reach across the divide and consult with those that have experiences that can furnish them with the necessary learning curve.

Someone is therefore either reading our column or it is just a happy coincidence that I read about the new organisers of the defunct Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) hiring a South African professional event organiser Michelle Fernandez who has organised the South African Music Awards and Namibian awards!

According to reports, the woman was accompanied at the consultations by Olga Grigorova who reportedly produced the 2008 CAF Awards and the 33rd Loerie Awards. By the looks of it, the Zima are being brought back in partnership with Buy Zimbabwe campaign and were relaunched last month after a seven-year break.

The 16 proposed categories that are being considered for musicians include: Traditional music, Best instrumental, Best choral album, Best collaboration (Singles), Best hip-hop (Single/Album), Best dancehall (Ragga/Reggae), Best jazz album, Best gospel album, Best alternative (Single/Album), Best single, best dance (DJ’s own original compilation), Best music video, Best producer, Best engineer, Best international achiever and people’s choice.

One award too many?
Daves Guzha of Rooftop Promotions launched his own Wene Music Awards earlier in the year and it consists of a heavy hitting team of industry folk such as Oliver Mtukudzi’s former manager Debbie Metcalfe to oversee the adjudication process. I expect a battle for legitimacy to ensue with these awards. We recommend they just fuse the awards and at least have one biggie.

Both proposed awards will be chasing the few corporate for sponsorship presumably. Is it not too ambitious to believe that this country can afford the two award shows? Collaboration is the new slogan comrades. Convene some talks, but first get your egos out of the way if you truly want to help build our creative industries.

Both of you have elements I like. With Wene awards they have a credible adjudication team and with the Zima you have consultants with industry experiences to offer.

Put the two together. Doing these kinds of events must just be a labour of love. We will record your name in posterity. If you do it as some kind of get rich quick scheme then you will holler like a motherless child when you see that your money is gone.

What’s the buzz?
Word on the street is that Zimbabwean designers have been selected to showcase at this year’s African Fashion Week Toronto in Canada. The three are Shadow by Sidumiso, BlinQ and Rebellious Klothing.

Members of the public are being encouraged to support the designers’ trip by donating at least one dollar on an ecocash number in an initiative supported by hunnar management agency and fashionista Mbo Mahocs. We suggest they set up a Facebook page for that purpose.

Crowd sourcing
According to Wikipedia, crowd funding is the process of funding your projects by a multitude of people contributing a small amount in order to achieve a particular monetary goal. Goals may be for donations or for equity in a project. Overseas, well-known crowd funding website is kick-starter.

The website raises funding for creative projects raising more than $100 million, despite it’s all-or-nothing model which requires one to reach the proposed monetary goal in order to acquire the money. Crowd rise brings together volunteers to fundraise in an online environment. In a related project, Offbeat was launched in 2012. So our people can utilise these services. Hopefully they will prosper.

Serious, serious stuff
A Stephen Sackur interview yesterday on BBC got me thinking about my late dad. The famous journalist was interviewing award-winning war reporter Anthony Lloyd, a fellow journalist who recently escaped the captivity of Syrian insurgents.

At no other time have journalists become such endangered species. Journalists are being killed, beaten and jailed for doing their job.

Are journalists saints? No. But the profession must now ask itself hard questions about whether it’s worth it risking one’s life for trying “to bear witness” in the words of Anthony Lloyd who now can’t walk properly . . . I do not fancy myself a Quixotic “crusader” or wish to be a martyr.

The stakes are too high. In Egypt three journalists are now serving heavy sentences. I won’t even talk about what’s happening locally . . .
The point of this reflection is that my dad warned me of all these things long ago. The question, is it all worth it?
Does anybody really care whether a journalist lives or dies? I doubt it very much.

I did some soul searching which led me to my law studies. I have made up my mind to do only one thing: Write about what matters to me and am willing to get paid for!

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