Nama confusion: Organisers clear air

The award was given to music diva Tahle Wedzinza for the video of the song Damage, whose visuals are yet to be made public.

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), organisers of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) has for the better part of last week been facing controversy surrounding its award for the Outstanding Music Video gong.

The award was given to music diva Tahle Wedzinza for the video of the song Damage, whose visuals are yet to be made public.

Critics argued that the video didn’t meet Nama’s submission requirements.

However, Nama’s acting director Josiah Kusena defended the decision and clarified that the video was published, however, not to the public.

“The music video is a published piece of work circulating on the international film festivals and has not been placed on YouTube or other social platforms as expected by the public,” he said.

“The adjudicators presiding over the Film and Television category did a thorough check on the compliance issues of the video and were duly satisfied that it was a published piece of work.”

Tahle Wedzinza’s management released a statement distancing her from the submission and award.

They explained that Jonathan Samukange had submitted the video independently to showcase his work using Wedzinza’s music.

“Tahle Wedzinza has always collaborated with other artists,” read the statement.

“The application in question was submitted by film producer Jonathan Samukange in his capacity as a filmmaker and not by Tahle Wedzinza in her capacity as a musician.

“This is not the first time that artists have approached us to use Tahle’s music to showcase their skill and craft.

“The award, in essence, was awarded to Jonathan Samukange for the direction of the music video.

“This is the reason for those who watched the Namas. Jonathan Samukange of DreamHaus received the award in his capacity as a film director as he was the applicant, not Tahle Wedzinza.

“The Nama award is not hers, and she never accepted it.”

Kusena also addressed the possibility of holding Nama ceremonies outside the capital, Harare.

He stated that hosting the awards in Bulawayo and other provinces is a potential future consideration.

“Bulawayo hugely supported Nama through our invited guests, dignitaries, residents, service providers and visitors,” Kusena said.

“The rendition of the national anthem by Tahle Wedzinza was a great performance.

“The live performances were all amazing.

“The audience was magnanimous in presence. Nama Bulawayo was a great show to remember.

“The possibility of holding Nama in Bulawayo and other provinces always remain a possibility.”

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