The 18th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA), which was scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed to next month.
Organisers of the awards said they saw it fit to have a new date since the country is still smarting from the effects of Cyclone Idai that killed over 100 people and destroyed infrastructure in Manicaland Province.
The awards, which are a forum of rewarding and acknowledging artists who have excelled in their respective genres, will now be held on April 13 at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
In a statement, Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry said: “As a ministry, together with our parastatal the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, we took the decision based on the current national situation of the effects of the natural disaster, cyclone Idai that have claimed lives and vastly destroyed properties.
“Cognisant that we are a culture Ministry that values unhu/ubuntu, we saw it noble that we move the awards ceremony and join the rest of fellow Zimbabweans in assisting the affected families.
“My Ministry sincerely apologises to the sector, corporates, events manager AB Communications, the public and nation at large for inconveniences caused by this development. We assure that the ceremony will be held accordingly as had been planned at Harare International Conference Centre.”
Minister Coventry also relayed condolence message to relatives of people that were killed in the cyclone.
“I take this opportunity to extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and the nation at large.
We are together as a family in this difficult time of immense loses to human lives as well as properties. It is a sad period, we honour and respect all the efforts that are on course to assist the affected,” she said.