The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
STRIPPED of some of its glitz and glamour as the country and the world at large continues to observe lockdown rules, the Bulawayo Arts Awards will this year focus on rewarding artistes in the city who for the past few months have struggled to earn a living as income from live performances dried up.
Last Wednesday the awards got a huge boost when the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) gave the green light for the holding of the awards at the Large City Hall as part of the Bulawayo at 126 celebrations.
As part of the partnership agreement, the local authority has offered the use of the Large City Hall for free, with the virtual awards being set for 29 August.
In an interview with Sunday News, one of the organisers of the show Raisedon Baya said he had wanted the awards to retain the pomp and fanfare of the past three editions.
“Personally, I was still going to go for the glitz, glamour and the audience but I guess we can still do that next year. In one of our meetings the discussion became more about how the awards should give hope to artistes, how the awards should also act as a platform in which artistes can thrive.
“I think since March a lot of artistes have not worked, they have not had anything that brings income to them and therefore the debate was if we are going to have awards can they this year really focus on the artistes and maybe they can improve their wellbeing. This means we run around and improve the prize monies or anything else that might help. Maybe for this year we may help in terms of the artiste’s welfare,” he said.
Baya said the award prizes would reflect and address current realities, with whatever artistes were rewarded with expected to help them see out the worst of the lockdown.
“The focus is on the artistes and their welfare living in these times of Covid-19 and lockdown. I think it will be a different edition and like I’m saying focus is more on the artistes themselves and their welfare. So, the awards will be centred around that and it could be the difference. We’re running around and trying to convince our partners to buy into the idea. We might not give as many awards as we usually do but those that we will give must make the awards a little bit meaningful.”