Bulawayo Arts Awards Reviews

About three months ago  an article was published in anticipation for the Bulawayo Arts Awards titled “Bulawayo Arts Awards: The Cliche Script” and the article received some criticism from those that are part of the organising committee of the BAAs and those that follow the Bulawayo Arts Industry in general.

So here are the follow up articles to the Previous article and in review to the BAAs:

BAAs: the good, the bad, the ugly

By Anon

My last opinion piece on the Bulawayo Arts awards was met with a lot of criticism and at some points insults in various WhatsApp group run by some Bulawayo artists and at some point, not once but twice on Facebook Raisedon baya had to respond (well that’s what he called it) to the article with emotional posts, getting a few praises and of course those who supported my article got insulted in the comments by what I will call minions, something I expected.

I received my ticket two days before the event and then had to hustle up an attire for the red carpet as twitter was ablaze with talk of fashion police, who somehow never turned on the day.

30 June 2017

I was not excited at all about this day (would you blame me), the official launch which had also served as the nominees’ announcement platform left me with no words, had I managed to come up with words you could have seen an article “Bulawayo arts awards nominees kanti sesidlala (are we playing now)”.

The categories and nominations where extremely flawed, something I will not get into in this article.

Chaotic entrance with clueless guards and personnel, two red carpets with two backdrop banners for pictures and FMG crew hard at work taking pics of every Tom, Jake and Jill with people queuing just to take pics, adding delay to the already delaying event, at this point am impressed that people came out in full force and that gave me positive vibes about the night only for the red carpet presenters to let me down, Morris Touch has lost his Touch, Comrade Phil was just there so that its said they are giving young guys a chance and finally the late coming Bathabile Dhlamini, again I was not surprised by the selection of these.

I ignored the foyer and went straight into the hall only to be greeted by tables with wine glasses and Ingwebu shake shake containers, I thought they were empty, I got into trouble removing the containers from the table.

As I had stated in my article the trusses were there, well in his Facebook rant Raisedon had said they will be there. I would like to believe the tables and chairs setup was a plan just in case people don’t turn up it would be easy to fill the hall up, (I don’t know whether to say clever move or the team lacked confidence in their project), anyway it worked although this proved to be a challenge to the winners as they had to maneuver to get on stage. Next time guys know these are awards not a political party fundraising dinner.

Two hours and thirty minutes after my arrival the show started, it was not IYASA and Siyaya on stage but different dance groups dancing to the awards theme song, (changed the actors but still same script) which was followed by an empty stage for about 4 mins then our presenters were introduced and these were to bore the audience with no chemistry, no stage presence, these guys should stick to their day jobs and not waste our time.

Let’s talk about the entertainment.

We were entertained by the young guys of Bulawayo as they shared the stage to show us what they have and may I take this time to salute the vocal power and excellence of Willis and Dlukes as they performed ncam ncam and who can forget the loud roar of the crowd when Mzoe7 took to the stage and he didn’t disappoint, Calvin please take notes from him and Nobuntu did what they do best serenade and entertain, not forgetting the two guys who sang the song “Izankaleli”.


Nothing to write home about, although for a change they saved us from hearing the same old lame jokes from Babongile, who somehow managed to get on stage after having presented the outstanding comedian award.

The awards

Am still puzzled by how they came up with some categories, my head even spins when you then talk of nominees and gets worse when winners are announced. Having been furnished by the names of the adjudicators of these awards, I went carrying a piece of paper to see if I can bring the Magaya or Makandiwa in me and man tell those guys the competition is here, I got all of them correct (the ones I had jotted down).

Best film

This category was won by the Arthur Evans show rightfully so as the other two nominees did not even deserve to be nominated but because is Bulawayo arts awards we just had to have fillers

Best female artist of the year

This was won by Sandra Ndebele, like wtf, she has no album she has only two songs, had she won best mathematics student that would have fair, but again its Bulawayo arts awards we needed to give out to pity awards to those who failed at the NAMAs

Outstanding comedian

Well another pity award

To cut the long story short the BAAs became a pity and some instance popular awards and merit was thrown out of the window so that people can feel good about winning awards, although some people truly deserved to win that night for example Skaiva, Lorraine Maplanka, CalVin and Madlela.

The atmosphere on the stage most of the time made the BAAs represent what is wrong with our people. We are bitter, we fail to make it nationwide and we blame others, we fail to attract sponsors because of reckless statements. City hall became Soweto Grandstand, hate speech being thrown around and what’s disappointing was that our former deputy prime minister even drew tribal lines.

Final say

A good idea, a fair execution, the organisers should come up with a proper standard calendar year, set standards to become a nominee, a professional and audited adjudication process and they should ban hate speech or any speech with similar connotations.

All over social media are praises for this Event, which I feel it’s this type of patting each other’s back ngama (lies) that brought the idea of awards in the first place, let’s celebrate our artists buy attending their shows (paying to get in), buying their merchandise and taking them to the world, this pity awards train and thina siyazenzela (we can do it by ourselves) attitude should be done away with.

I must say, BAAs team sat down and looked at my article and set out to prove me wrong, which is a good thing and they tried their best.

Next Review… “Bulawayo Arts Awards: Of Waiting Games and awards”


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