By Lemuel Chekai
With the 2019 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA), around the corner, the golden question that remains is whether the adjudicators will once again honour names ahead of talent as per last year’s scenario.
Despite being the most played song for the better half if not the whole of 2017, Soul Jah Love’s hit track “Pamamonya Ipapo” could not meet its final moment of glory as Jah Prayzah’s Ndini Ndamubata off Kutonga Kwaro album was given precedence after becoming a theme song of the November 2017 military coup that displaced former president Robert Mugabe.
To many it was hard to believe seeing “Ndini Ndamubata” walking away with outstanding song of the year despite being outplayed by its album title track, “Kutonga Kwaro.”
Now, this year, with all the so called giants, namely Jah Prayzah and Winky D having failed to woo crowds as compared to new boys in the name of Enzo Ishall, Jah Signal and Baba Harare, will the adjudicators honor pure talent displayed by the newbies throughout 2018.
Enzo will be riding on his hit singles among them “Smart Rinotangira Kutsoka,” “Handirare Kuden Kwenyu Futi,” and “Kanjiva” which was voted ZBC’s 2018 video of the year.
Jah Signal will cling to his hit single “Sweety” played for almost the whole of 2018.
With the new boys giving their seasoned counterparts a good run for their money, shocking outcomes at this year’s NAMA cannot be ruled out.
Enzo Ishall’s Kanjiva voted video of the year on the local television ZTV appears a strong candidate to land the Song of the year, though it faces stiff competition from Baba Harare’s The Reason Why which dominated parties and weddings towards the end of the year.
It appears newbies will also land the outstanding song and male musician gongs previously reserved for either Jah Prayzah and Winky D.
While the stakes are high against the big guys in most of the categories, they could smile all the way home as they are likely to be top contenders for the album of the year category, likely to be be a battle between Winky D’s ‘Gombwe’, Killer T’s ‘Mashoko anopfuura’ and ExQ ‘Tseu Tseu’, not forgetting Jah Prayzah.