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NAMA 2024 comes to Bulawayo

Harare Bureau 

Organisers of the popular local awards show dubbed National Arts and Merit Awards (NAMA) have said the next edition, the 22nd, will be held in Bulawayo at ZITF Hall Number 3 on February 24, 2024, running under the theme “Kwa22.”

Addressing media at their offices in Belgravia, Harare, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo said the event was going to be bigger and better.

“NAMA’s traditional venue has always been Harare and HICC has been the traditional venue in the last few years, but it is my pleasure to say a decision was taken with JCMC to take the NAMA to Bulawayo at ZITF Hall No 3. So, what it means is that it changes a lot of things,” he said.

“It is going to be bigger and better. We are looking forward to curating NAMA in a way that it has never been seen before.”

This is not the first time having NAMA being held in Bulawayo.

“NAMA was in Bulawayo for two consecutive editions, I think about seven years ago,” said Moyo. “The decision to take NAMA to Bulawayo emanates from the decision to take NAMA outside Harare.”

Moyo said one of the significant category changes coming to NAMA was the transformation of media awards into special awards.

“Going forward, media awards are going to be given under special awards, so they will not come in now as a category of their own,” said Moyo.

“They will come under special awards and you will know that NAMA also gives special awards where we have the Outstanding Promoter, others call it the Promoter of the Year, we have the Arts Service Award, we have the Arts Personality Award, we have the Artist Best in the Diaspora, and we have the Lifetime Achievement Awards, so media, because of the role that it plays in supporting the arts, we are now uplifting the award to be a special award.

“It’s coming into special award, it will not be a category on its own and the focus will now remain the core business of NAMA is to award artists, that is the major change, and they will no longer be an independent category.”

NAMA executive producer Napoleon Nyanhi said entries had opened for contemplation for the awards.

“Entries have opened, a lot of people have already submitted their entries for consideration, that means they are open until November 30 this year,” he said. “As the planning committee or as the planning organization, we’re excited that we’ve managed to do a press conference to announce that we’ve started the work. The work started in July.

“We’ve been planning. We’ve been coming up with themes. We’ve been coming up with possible performances. We’ve been coming up with how we’re going to make the event look fantastic, look spectacular, how we’re going to make it the best lifestyle event in Southern Africa.

Nyanhi further went on to say the fourth edition of NAMA Golf Day will be held.

“NAMA Golf Day, the fourth edition, will be in Bulawayo as well,” he said. “That will be on November 10, 2023. So that is in about a month and a half we’ll be in Bulawayo for the NAMA Golf Day. So, NAMA Golf Day is a platform where we’ve tried to create a space for artists to interact with business.

“We figured if we try and create a conference where we say business people come, artists come, there have been a lot of those that have happened before. And we are still trying to create something of that nature. But a lot of the time those spaces are too serious for artists.

“We have created a documentary, The Making of Nama. Throughout our Nama season last year into this year, that was for the 21st Nama edition, which happened in February earlier this year, we were recording everything, putting together the documentary.”