Organisers of Zimbabwe’s 19th National Arts and Merit Awards (NAMA) have promised to present an epic show on Saturday, with the ceremony being opened to the public for the first time in five years.
The ceremony will be held at the 4 000-seater Harare International Conference Centre in Harare.
It is billed to feature top artists from different genres, among them Alick Macheso, Freeman, Gemma Griffiths, Ti Gonzi, Asaph, Nqobile Malinga, Felix Mutasa, Vabati VaJehovha, Jah Prayzah, Takunda Billiat and Jasen Mphepo Little Theatre. NAMA artistic director Leonard Mapfumo said they want the event to be the biggest ever.
“We have 157 participants drawn from seven categories out of nine disciplines as we try to involve as many genres as possible,” he said.
“We also have seven languages represented on stage, drawn from different parts of Zimbabwe.”
Mapfumo said the red carpet opening will include Nyau dancers.
“This year on the red carpet we start with an opening which features Nyau dancers, a bit of theatre and music from rapper Asaph,” he said.
“We have a 30-metre long red carpet and we want our audience to help us celebrate our stars through taking pictures with the artists and even getting autographs.”
After the red carpet, which runs from 6pm to 7.30pm, the ceremony will move to the pre-show event where different artists will perform.
“We brought in the best choreographers and scriptwriters to coin an eventful experience that people will hold in their memories until the next show a year later,” said Mapfumo.
“We figured we can’t have people just seating around waiting for the awards show to start, but they can as well enjoy performances.
“This also gives them value in the event since some of the best local performers will be on stage.”
NAMA executive producer Napoleon Nyanhi said preparations had commenced at HICC.
“We have already started setting up at HICC and by Friday all will be set for rehearsals,” he said.
“We will also have a reception for our nominees at Jameson Hotel on Friday evening, so those from outside Harare will come in on the day and spend two nights in the city.” - The Herald.