THE returning Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) on Wednesday honoured the best musicians in the country with Bulawayo-based artistes scooping some of the coveted honours.
The awards ceremony was held at the stately Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
The Zimas returned this year after a seven-year absence with the organisers issuing a bold declaration that they would put up a glamorous event that would match international standards.
They even enlisted the services of Recording Industry of South Africa (Risa) to assist with the pre-production preparations.
However, it seemed the event did not leave up to expectations of the hard-to-please Zimbabweans who took to popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to express their disappointment at the way the event was organised.
While the couch surfers were spewing their anger and frustration online, several artistes walked away smiling, after they were awarded for their excellence and creativity.
The biggest winners of the night were Cynthia Mare who bagged three awards, while Jah Prayzah and Sani Makhalima both walked away with two awards each.
Mare won best alternative music, best single and best female awards.
Jah Prayzah shrugged off stiff challenge from Ba Shupi and Mokoomba to win the best traditional music for his successful album Tsviriyo.
Tsviriyo was also voted the best album of the year, capping a memorable year for Jah Prayzah who also scooped four awards at the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) in Bulawayo in February.
Makhalima won the best producer of the year and best collaboration for his song, Zvachose, were he features Umsindo All Stars.
Bulawayo-based artistes put the city on the spotlight with the three of them being awarded for their serling work.
Khulekani “Khuxxman” Bethule scooped the best house music award for his chart topping album Vumelani Isangoma while Imbube legends, Black Umfolosi won the Best a cappela award for their album, Summertime.
Obadiah Matulana walked away with the best engineer of the year for a great job he did in his album, Isimbadzu/Chimbadzo.
Woza Weekend spoke to the three winners from Bulawayo who were all ecstatic.
“As an artiste you always want your work to be recognised,” said Khuxxman. “It is encouraging when you receive recognition of this magnitude. I am really happy to have won the award.”
The versatile Khuxxman revealed that he was currently working on an EP, with the main song being a wedding song, which he hopes will be out by the festive season.
Matulana, a veteran of 27 years in the music industry, said the award was a highlight of his long career.
“I am very proud to have won the award and I would like to appreciate my family and relatives and the media for the support,” he said.
“The award means a lot to me. It is the first recognition in my 27-year music career and it is an honour for me.”
Sotsha Moyo, the lead singer of the globe-trotting Black Umfolosi, applauded the Zima organisers for coming up with an a capella category.
“It is a special award to us, but we feel it has come a bit late for us because we feel we deserve this recognition,” Moyo said.
“We would like to applaud Zima for creating this category, all along we did not have category in all the other music awards.
“We do not belong to the mass choir category or the traditional music category, but we are an a capella group. We implore other music awards to accommodate this category.”
Moyo revealed that they were working on a new 13-track album which will be released soon. The group will also be leaving for Canada on Sunday for a six week tour.