Simba Jemwa, Showbiz Reporter
WHEN the Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) were first unveiled to the public six years ago, few in the industry and beyond gave them their due respect.
But fast forward to 2022 and the evidence of that one day in a year when artistes from Bulawayo are showered with love, given a show-stopping experience on the red carpet and recognised for their contributions to the arts is that evening that Roil and the BAA organisers honour these often-underappreciated creatives.
And what better way for any one of the nominees than to wake up on Christmas Day with a gong on their mantle piece?
Some, like the Madlela Skhobokhobo’s of this world, make us laugh while others like Msiz’Kay and MJ Sings serenade us with soulful melodies. Yet more like Andrea the Vocalist give the industry hope for a better future.
This year, the BAAs are without a doubt, arguably the biggest name in the game. The legend that was Cont Mhlanga died on August 1 this year, but his spirit flies with the awards which will be run under the theme: “Celebrating Arts Excellence, Umkhulu lo Msebenzi” adopted from the Amakhosi slogan, “Umkhulu lo Msebenzi”.
Wona umkhulu indeed, the Nkue Nkala’s, Raisedon Baya’s and the Mambazo’s and Busisa’s of this world are the lifeblood of this industry. Some may not like the individuals, but you’ve got to love the collective! The RoilBAAs have become bigger and arguably better organised than anything this country has to offer on the awards scene.
In fact, this writer may be as bold as to suggest there is no reason why the BAAs cannot be mentioned in the same rarefied breath as the South Africa Music Awards! If DiepCity actor, Chrispen Nyathi was nominated as possibly the Outstanding Ambassador (Worldwide) alongside the well-travelled Vusa Mkhaya, Bruce Ncube, Chunky Phiri and Sue Nyathi, then yes, such claims become quite plausible.
For six years, the BAAs have been growing and with each growth spurt, more and more local artistes are finally beginning to feel cherished, to feel like they belong and finally get to be appreciated for years of doing much the same thing: rehearse, perform and die poor without a single mention except an obituary!
Thirty-six deserving artistes will be honoured on December 24. That is 36 men and women who have worked hard during the course of the year being honoured for their commitment to their craft. It also means that 144 artistes from Bulawayo and its immediate environs were considered worthy by the organisers of the BAAs and their sponsors, to walk down the red carpet!
To boot, all the award nominees will be part of pre-events like the nominees’ dinner and other activations whose dates will be announced as we move closer to December. @RealSimbaJemwa
Article Source: The Chronicle