National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) are on tomorrow, with music expected to dominate the event.
Not that books, film, theatre, visual arts and other art genres are not important. It is just that music, has a pull factor that makes those who pursue this art form appear more important than their counterparts.
It is no surprise, therefore, that when it comes to the People’s Choice award at Nama, musicians compete amongst themselves.
Of course, there is room for everyone else, particularly comedy and film, but for several years, the battle has been between musicians. It is no different this year. Nama made an open call for everyone to compete in the People’s Choice category, most genres did but fell by the way side.
The remaining contenders, the top five, all happen to be musicians.
What makes it even more interesting this year is the fact that the competition at tomorrow’s event in the People’s Choice category features four church-affiliated singers. History has shown that church people support each other.
They have shown this in various competitions where winners are selected through voting, particularly the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50. In successive years, gospel artistes and singers like Leonard Zhakata, who are directly linked to a particular congregation have proved to have an upper hand over other musicians.
However, the church vote is set to be tested in many ways tomorrow. First, it is going to be split between Pastor Bonnie Deuschle of Celebration Centre, Minister Michael Mahendere (UFIC), Mambo Dhuterere (St John’s Apostolic Church), other Apostolic churches, music lovers in general, and Prophet T Freddy of Goodness and Mercy Ministries and his miracle-seeking followers.
Then there is Winky D. One wonders how he is going to fare against these four church-backed artistes.
The “Disappear” hit-maker’s social media army has to come out and prove to him that they are not only expects in criticising but also have the capability to vote for the “Gafa” president as he is affectionately known.
May the best contender win.