THERE seems to be a coming together of vital ingredients for a vibrant showbiz sector in Bulawayo with recent public performances, including plays, music concerts and movie premieres consistently drawing much-needed audiences.
The National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) winning play The Taking’s official premiere drew a full house at the Bulawayo Theatre last Friday night.
There was another full house at the Nama celebrations at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo on Saturday night.
Previous concerts and shows had been characterised by empty venues, resulting in some critics declaring Bulawayo had lost its longstanding status as the cultural hub of the country.
The Taking director Memory Kumbota said the play took audiences back into the womb of time during days of colonisation and the war of liberation, as well as touching on the emotive land question.
“We have a catch phrase in the play that says ‘history takes no prisoners’. Here we are chronicling the land issue; not only how it affects Zimbabwe, but the whole of Africa,” Kumbota told Southern Eye Lifestyle.
“Zimbabwe is the first country to really implement the land reform process, although it was a painful process which created social, political and personal upheavals. It affected a lot of people, races and tribes.”
The Saturday awards ceremony was graced by Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo, regional director of the National Art Gallery, Voti Thebe, and various artistes.
The reception was held to celebrate the 12 Nama gongs scooped by Bulawayo artistes out of the 20 nominations.
The event’s master of ceremony Philip Moyo, aka Cde Phil, did not have to do much to excite the already-elated and proud Bulawayo crowd.
The drinks and wine kept flowing, courtesy of Delta Beverages, African Distillers and Liquor Hub.
The Nama winners were called onto the stage and presented with awards, although the audience was disappointed that almost half of the winners had gone to perform at President Robert Mugabe’s 91st birthday bash in the resort town of Victoria Fall.
These included star comedian Clive Chigubhu.
Simunye Simunye Arts group took to the stage with a breath-taking performance of African dance styles that thrilled the audience.