Bulawayo Arts Awards – Who won what and possibly why?

So legend says Bulawayo Arts sector is run by some mafia club, complete with some Pablo Escobar figure who determines who lives and who bites the dusts. Well, I don’t like ghost stories that much, that come with all hearsay and tittle tattle. I believe if you put in the work, market and push the craft, network and play as team, the whole industry will give you your space to operate. Ghost stories like these are pushed by frustrated people who the market deemed not good enough and instead of going back to the drawing board would rather create imaginary bad guys and villains who are out to playhate and stop their growth.

By Trevor Mawaka

The RoilBAA6 came and went and as usual the “We Was Robbed” whispers are too loud to ignore. Being positive minded I thought why not look for the reasons the winners won and rest remained nominees so that we could all learn from the event. Anyway we all know being a nominee already means you would have won. Being more interested in Music, my write will focus only on musical individual and why they probably are polishing the gong right now..

These are my 2 Cents


Cde Phil – Khulumani FM

Cde Phil is everyone’s friend. OK, I admit that that’s an overstatement but I guess if you do arts foe a living, you have one or two or even twenty seven positive things you could say about the smart guy. Now truth is being likable is very important in this industry. Truth is he is one of the main reasons we all listen to Khulumani FM. I strongly believe a well researched market survey would show you his Breakfast Show is the most listened to show at Khulumani FM. His other strength is networking. I don’t know how many shows I have bumped into him this year but am sure it’s more than 10. Be it Theatre, Poetry or Music, he is always around sipping his mineral water. Of cause being an event MC he will be either working or looking for work but all these things come in handy when the market bites on who is the best. Radio DJs if you have to learn something, learn this, you are made great by your audience.. Remember these are not facts but just my two cents


Nite Freak

Nite freak is a freak of some sort. Dude might not have a great following locally but go on online music platforms and make a check on the amount of downloads his mixes get. They are scary big. Even locally dude has good enough numbers when compared to local DJs. He even gets booked in foreign countries, something most DJs from the city can only dream about. I guess all these for the informed voters could easily sway a mind. The take away for most DJs is let’s go beyond being event DJs.. Let’s put our work online and tape into the virtual market… Again not facts but just my 2 Cents



Apart from Noluntu J, I believe noone else made as much positive noise as Luminous. He had new works that spoke for themselves and crossed the great Shangani River to even perform in Harare. Few of our hiphop heads gets any nomination out of the city. And his social pages kept us interested in his craft. And as you saw, it works, coz it worked…. Again just my 2 Cents


M J Sings

I will never hide the fact that currently in the city I am most inspired by MJ Sings and Msizkay. In my eyes and ears, these two are talented and directed enough to rise to the levels of Lovemore Majaivana. Anyways, MJ has already given us a taste of the Majaivana flavor in him. What I love in him is his ability to push his own works. In 2022 he hosted himself more than once and there getting connected to true MJ Sings fans and he boasted good numbers at the events. If you add the collabos he did and his songwriting you can’t falter the young man. Koloyi was a monster hit not only this side of the Shangani but nationally and some how he was the poster boy of the gang O team and this added to his likability. And oh, I just love his vocals.. He is a good singer that connects with his fans… Again these are just my 2 Cents



I have had mixed feelings about Ma9. Sometimes I felt he was pushing his craft enough especially in Bulawayo. Then sometimes I felt like Bulawayo was letting him down. So why did Ma9ine probably win. I guess it’s a numbers thing. Having Tinashe Mutarisi in your team matters. Check Freeman. Check Andreah the Vocalist. OK let me rephrase and say having a good influencer who is monied up in your team helps. A Post from Nash TV encouraging voters is better than ten posts from an upcoming artist. So in short, networking is the key. Yeah Ma9ine is unique and Talented, giving us that missing ndebele voice in Zimdancehall, but I guess the key factor was who is his team.. Remember these are jus my 2 Cents.


Everton Mlalazi

Everton is a national figure and his appeal goes beyond the region. If as artists we have to learn then we have to study how in short period of time his influence grew so fast. Maybe it’s because he introduced himself first in Harare and we as “Bulawayo-ans” had to then accept him back home. Wha I know for sure is his numbers in terms of votes also included the northern regions. His music gets good rotation on national radio that gave him an edge on fellow nominees… Lesson to take home let’s market beyond Bulawayo… just my 2 Cents



Amaqaqa are gold. Amaqaqa are versatile. Amaqaqa are humble. Look them up on YouTube if you are new. Even on the awards night, they taught harmony to all of us through their performance. Imbibe music will live for long through Amaqaqa. In this category they have the most reach as they frequently perform around the city. Is you don’t take your music to the people how do u expect the people to to support you. Amaqaqa are fast becoming one of the most known imbibe groups in Bulawayo ,even beyond the great BLACK Umfolosi levels.. The take away factor is take your music to the people… MY 2 CENTS


Dubia Masters

I would have preferred Insimbi ZeZhwane but the people voted and the Voice of People is the Voice of……… GOD


Murphy Cubic

MURPHY gave us Koloyi. That good enough. How many loc piano flavored songs have appealed enough to search for during an Amapiano session. Very few. And Koloyi is one of them. And he has has produced for national and international stars as well. Gemma Griffiths has had her voice serande a Murphy beat before.. For our producers, the more you work with diverse artists the more your name grows. The growth of your name is what every artist is looking for. My 2 Cents


Koloyi – Gang O (MJ Sings, Murphy Cubic, Amany)

Collabos of artists with names have a bigger reach. MJ is already big in Bulawayo. Murphy Kesani Cubic Has that international producer appeal and amany adds his niche market and it worked. My 2 Cents is Collabos add value. If you an artist work with others. United we stand and devided we fall. New unique sounds get created when different artists hit the studio together and music fans just worship that… Trust me am a music fan as well.


Kulula – Msizkay x Bhekiwe

I love what Msiz did on stage on the Awards night. He said the award belonged more to Bhekiwe than to him. He even had her hold the award. I hope he was gracious enough to let her go with it home. Again collabos worked. He even said he was done with album and Bhekiwe called him to say let’s work on a single.. That became the song of the year. Again I will parrot the mantra, team work makes the dream work. Work with other artists and have a bigger reach. My 2 Cents

31. NEW COMER OF THE YEAR (All Genres) Andrea The Vocalist

Andrea is talented. He is a singer and performer. Believe me when I say it because I am an interested part when it came to this award.. My beloved Charleston Trust Primary School Choir was nominated for the best newcomer at the Bulawayo Arts Awards as well. I had the whole school vote and did all we could but when I saw him on stage I knew this was a done deal for him and I knew he deserved it. Andre has the great and wealthy Tinashe Mutarisi in his team. He has Earground managing his publicity. Infact his whole management is is tight and sure of the game.. My advice to me and to all is stop being a one man gang.. Grow with other s..


Mzoe 7

I always say Mzoe is the king of the stage. On stage he rules. He collaborate. But most importantly on stage he makes sure. Everyone who saw him perform probly votes for him. Respect the stage.. My 2 Cents



Tour the world but come back home and still connect with the masses. That’s Nkwali’s story. International groups gotta learn this. Just My 2 Cents


Ramsey K (Byo)

So on the awards night I was seated with Will Nyandoro of the National Arts Council and he told me of how Ramsey has been in the trenches for years from the MATONTO days. He has been patient and built a name for himself. I guess that matters. PATIENCE. MY 2 CENTS



He worked. He collaborated. He had shows right round the city. He had new music every now then. He networked. He reached out to the fans on his social networking pages. He had music on national radio platforms.. He even had the city fathers calling on him. That’s enough. My 2 Cents

#RoilBAA6 Pictures credit _ Veins Media / Bulawayo Arts Awards


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