The return of the Zimbabwe Music Awards which were held last night have been met with scathing criticism from many corners. Many have argued that in their current texture, form, context, magnitude and impact, the awards are an embarrassment to our music industry.
Norman Theodore , EARGROUND, SA
Although I personally would want to agree with some sentiments, my focus is on the next practical steps the organisers may take to deal with the crisis.
In very simple steps, organizers should;
3 Restructure and,
1_ In terms of Recalibration, there is a need to completely go back to the drawing board by seeking to understand the new meaning of ZIMAs in 2020 as opposed to the 2003 version. Organizers must listen to consumers and producers of music.
They must go all out to engage with stakeholders with the aim of understanding their views on what genuine ZIMAs must be like.
2_ Next, they must Reform. We are tired of watching the same script over and over again. It is now boring. We need some life. We need to see young people attending these ceremonies. The idea of populating the whole auditorium with aged friends and semi-relatives must stop forthwith! Presenters of these awards are not at all inspiring. We have people who don’t rehearse. We have people who can’t flow. No man no!
3_ Restructuring is related to reform. I think organizers must begin to understand that there are certain musical constituencies that are being left out. For example, how do you tell me that John Munodawafa, Radio Zimbabwe’s end of 2019 number one artist was not on the map? Radio Zimbabwe is the largest radio station in Zimbabwe and its impact is unquestionable. One has got to understand that as long as a national awards ceremony doesn’t capture such basics, then it remains a joke.
4_ Finally, ZIMA must return.
I want to acknowledge the role of corporates in supporting music. This is important and hence ZIMA awards must build on the traction gained so far to improve. Corporates are key to the growth and development of our music industry. Kudos to PPC.
This is why SA has a robust music industry. However, we must not forget that in the case of our own corporates, there seem to be a tendency is to ‘capture’. Corporate capture!
To illustrate this better, let me pose the following questions. Did we hear too much PPC instead of our music? Did anyone speak about our music industry, its state and invite more sponsorship? Food for thought!
As a corporate giant, PPC or whoever was behind the awards must understand that you don’t sponsor to obscure something. You sponsor to cleavage it. The old man from PPC summed it all up. He said next time we will come back with a better presentation. Kudos to that man.