Super talented Zimbabwean songwriter and vocalist born Simbarashe Chiwadzwa popularly known as Nutty O emerged a double winner at the recently held 20th National Arts Merit Award in Harare, Zimbabwe. These 2 wins have set him to 5 awards this year including the 3 ZIMA awards he scooped a fortnight ago for best male artist, album of the year and song of the year.
By Fadzai Mathabire
“We have only dreamed and prayed for this and a dream came true, a prayer answered.” Carrington Simbarashe Chiwadzwa
The National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) is the premier award given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts and culture. The inaugural NAMA was held in February 2002 honouring artists who excelled in 2001.
After a lot of hard work, dedication, self belief and consistently trying his luck from 2017, the Zimdancehall artist finally sweeps not just one but two NAMA awards. NuttyO was evidently excited to be honoured among great artists alike and to register a win on his debut nominations at the event held at the HICC Saturday night.
Nutty O was the first Zimbabwean artist to be featured on Dj. Edu’s Afro Dancehall show on BBC 1xtra with his track “Kwandabva Kure”.
Being his first time to be nominated for a NAMA, he left the event the biggest winner of the night with two category awards: Outstanding male musician and outstanding album. Historically, NuttyO had never been nominated for the NAMA and that is why seeing his name next to names who have won before was so special to him. He shared his excitement in his speech as he said, “I did not expect this because when you look at the category there are great men. For you to be considered a great man there has to be great competitors. So this is special for me tonight.”
I am sure for one thing, it is not only my talent that brought me here because I know for real that talent does not make it to the shortlist of things that you need to be successful in life. I am a strong character, a powerful mind, and I have stood for what I believe in from day one. I have never given up.”Nutty O
From his three nominees he missed the outstanding song of the year to Jah Master’s Hello Mwari. The icon also gave an amazing performance of handipere power that lit up the whole auditorium. Other tremendous acts from the Amazing Voices winners: Unveiled, the recently honored ZIMA best RnB and Soul Nyasha David, Kae Chaps and Kiki Badass. NAMA went all out on the production and made sure the event recognised the Zimbabwean art from home and beyond including acts from diaspora based awa kiwe and a Commemoration of the undeniably talented late Zimdancehall mogul Souljah luv.
Although music may have dominated the show as always, the other categories were greatly recognised through performance and honour awards. Poor cousins scooped the Outstanding Screen Production, Madam Boss taking home the Distinct Social Media Skits, and Devante Sanganza scooping the Outstanding male dancer (full list).
Nutty O has definitely had a good year despite the challenges that came with COVID-19 and its restrictions. He has proved that hard work and dedication, even with no recognition at the start, will get you to where you need to be. We live to say the day a young man from Mbare brings home the grammy and BET awards. If he can see it and is willing to work for it, what really can stop him?
“So I wanna tell you that whatever it is you want to achieve in life is possible. I am a living testimony, and next time we bring the Grammy and the BET Awards to the world” Nutty ONutty O