ON Wednesday, the local showbiz glitterati came out in full force to attend the Zima awards with the hope of taking to the stage.
Brother John Nyadzayo and his team must be commended for the efforts they made in putting the whole event together. It takes genuine guts and passion for the business to do it.
He made one mistake among a few others — he did not invite Culture Beat to his awards show. Still, the awards went ahead and I am happy to inform you that our network is so wide we were there hustling and watching.
The big showbiz story this week, therefore, has to be the buzz that was the Zima awards bouncing back after seven years in the wilderness. Awards by their nature and thrust are meant to catalyse competition and the production of quality works by artistes.
The ultimate hope from where I stand is that we will one day be able to export our musical product. So far it’s a long shot.
But I am hopeful that our artistes can begin to look beyond the borders and develop the audacity to take on the world in the same manner that Rozalla Miller (of Everybody’s Free to Feel Good) and even more recently, Buffalo Souljah has been doing in South Africa.
We don’t really have an international urban youth act doing damage across the borders. They are all cooped up here and jostling for the crowded local stage with the occasional visit to the Diaspora to stage shows for homesick Zimbos. That is not musical success.
That is child’s play.
I can tell you that the awards got many things right, for example the red carpet, the glamour, the venue, having a reunited Afrika Revenge perform, the publicity . . .
The following are the categories whose winners Culture Beat agreed with.
Best international achievers award: Mokoomba
Speaking of Buffalo Souljah, he should have been mentioned alongside Mokoomba at least as a nominee for the best international achievers award which went finally to Mokoomba, deservedly so.
Mokoomba have had local chart success elude them despite gracing some major league platforms such as features on the international news giant CNN. They have also been given some other accolades internationally. More power to them.
Best a cappella: Black Umfolosi
Pastor J Munyanyi & VaEfeso Apostolic Church — Canaan,
Samson Tavengwa — Inyasha,
Tehillar Worshipers — Shungu Dzangu,
Samson Tavengwa — NaJesu Zvinoita.
Black Umfolosi’s award is deserved. It has been a long time in coming for the group. Missing in the category though was Shower Power, one of Zimbawe’s leading a cappella exponents.
Best house music: Khuxxman
— Vumelani isangoma,
Djembe Monks — Deep Love and Drums,
Skaiva — Skaiva Singles ,
Defined House — It’s Time,
Dr Clarence- Mbiratronix House Mix.
Khuxxman must be feeling gratified. He had it coming with that loxion anthem of yesteryear. He is not strictly a house music exponent and so the others must be smarting over his victory. But it is noteworthy that the category was dominated by Bulawayo artistes. It makes a lot of sense to me.
Best contemporary gospel music:
Sabastian Magacha — Tinaye Faithful God ,
Alexander Zinyongo — Open Heavens,
Hick Gwarimbo — My Heart My Guitar,
Pastor G — Unstoppable,
Alexander Zinyongo — Gospel Hour.
Magacha, without a doubt stormed the charts with that song Bhosvo off his award-winning album. The producer of the record should have then won the producer of the year accolade which went to Sani Makhalima. I have nothing against Sani.
The awards organisers got certain things wrong though. They did not have my boy Babongile as master of ceremonies for starters! He is the ultimate showman and the best in the country.
Now to the misses, I do not get how Zimpraise failed to snag the award for the following category. The choir has in the last year been the most pervasive and influential one bar none.
UFI Choir? Who knows them? I feel bad for local boy Joseph Madziyire who is the director of the choir. What criteria did they use to award this group? Can any one of our readers name one song by this group which could better Zimpraise’s Sungano from the past year?
Best contemporary choral music:
UFI Choir — Devine Solutions Vol 2,
UFI Choir — Devine Solutions Vol3,
Women Praise — Wakanaka,
Zimpraise — The Covenant,
UFI Choir — We Are Family Vol 1.
As for the next category, I was just stunned. I did not even know that Clare Nyakujara was a jazz artiste, let alone ever heard her song. Beautiful, yes she is, but a jazz artiste, certainly not. What is jazz music anyway?
Think Jazz Invitation, Hugh Masekela and Mandebvu or better still, Hudson Simba. These other youngsters in this category are simply Afro-pop musicians alongside Jah Prayzah who won in the best traditional category — Mawungira eNharira (the mbira ensemble) and Cynthia Mare who won in the so-called best alternative category!
We understand that Alexio was miffed about the awards which he described as whack. Alexio is an Afro pop artiste pure and simple. Check the following category.
Best jazz music: Ruzivo and Clare Nyakujara — Ndega Zvangu,
Prince Kudakwashe Musarurwa — Gogodera,
Claire — Unleashed,
Alexio Kawara — Tose,
Malimbah — African Sun.
Now this next one was mystifying for me. Brother Obadiah Matulana is an engineer? I don’t think so. Which studio does he work at?
I do not want to be mean spirited, but hey there must be stuff I don’t know in this showbiz sector. Of course! But I get how they could have nominated Gabz Fire because he is an engineer in the music business. Obadiah won the category!
Best engineer of the year: Obadiah
Matulana – Isimbazu/Chimbadzo,
Warren H — Women of South Samora,
Dr Clarence — Mbiratronix House Mix,
Gabz Fire — Let Jah Rise Gabz Fire Comrade Chinx finally.
Liberation war music legend Comrade Chinx was honoured for his contribution made to music and given a house in Mabelreign! Poetic justice if you ask me.
Chinx was a victim of the Murambatsvina debacle that saw his house ruthlessly demolished and for him to be given a house is a powerful testament to the vision of the organisers of the awards. I 100% agree with the decision.
I have a sour taste in my mouth though. I am not feeling too charitable. The awards show proved again that the airwaves need to be liberated for the rest of the country.
Pronix, Family Voices, Outfit, Thandy, DJ Face and others long for the day when their works can be heard regularly on national radio. It seems that the night is taking long to end.