National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) adjudicators say there are serious shortcomings on the quality of entries submitted for the 17th edition of the competition which will be held later this month.
The concern comes as the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), the custodians of the awards, announced on Thursday the list nominees for this year’s edition.
The awards ceremony will be held on February 17 at the Reps Theatre in Harare.
In a statement, the chairperson of the adjudicators panel, Professor Ruby Magosvongwe, however, noted that the record number of entries was a confirmation of the artists’ confidence in the awards.
“Adjudicators applauded the geographic spread of entries across all genres as well as quality of artworks despite limited resources. In some categories like Children’s Books, adjudicators noted some serious shortcomings in the editing, proofreading and general packaging of the books.
“In the three dimensional visual art work, adjudicators noted lack of creativity and originality in a number of entries. These grey areas notwithstanding, the high number of entries and sustained interest shows the confidence that our artists have placed in the annual NAMA awards,” noted Prof Magosvongwe.
Prof Magosvongwe also noted that most submissions of music videos lacked imagination and creativity while there was an upsurge of music products with many artists producing singles and pushing the number of entries high.
The adjudicators were also impressed by the by the quality and standard of film entries this time around.
Among the nominees is Jah Prayzah whose latest studio album Kutongwa Kwaro has taken the country by storm and is expected to walk away with at least one award.