Zimbabwe: Roilbaa bigger than Bulawayo
Langalakhe Mabena / Nkosilathi Sibanda
A mark to be reckoned with is the status that the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) have earned and in its five years of existence the ball has not been let go.
November 6 was the night the Zimbabwean artistic fraternity needed as a “successful” relief from events, especially amid the catastrophic Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, the awards took place over three days, a step that was taken to contain the public in adhering to Covid-19 protocols and the methodology worked as intended.
However, the highlight of the awards ceremony was the final which took place on Saturday in the traditional venue, the Grand Hôtel de Ville.
The red carpet was rolled out from 4 p.m. and it was the platform that was widely used by patrons who graced the event dressed in new clothes.
The awards show started at 6 p.m. as scheduled and ended well on time with South African comedian Q Dube ensuring the audience remained focused and focused on his comedic prowess as the lead presenter on the scene.
Although the awards were started as a ‘Bulawayo affair’, over the past five years the event has turned out to be bigger than the city as it continues to attract people from different cities, even those from there. outside the country.
People such as Beef Harrison, founder of the Zim Hip Hop Awards, renowned filmmakers Daves Guzha and Joe Njagu were spotted at the evening ceremony.
Zolani Mkiva, a famous practitioner of the arts who is an Imbongi YeSizwe and former poet of praise for the late former South African President Nelson Mandela was also present at the awards.
As guest of honor, the member of the African National Congress (ANC) received an appreciation award.
“What I see here tonight is the best thing I have ever seen,” Mkiva said. “Zimbabwe is a beautiful country and it has beautiful vibrant cultures and I can see them all today.
“It is a privilege to be honored with this distinction. I have not come alone from South Africa as I am accompanied by businessmen who want to see how they can invest in the arts of Bulawayo.
“South Africa and Zimbabwe are one and our cultures speak volumes. We look forward to partnering with local creators to maintain our African stories across different artistic genres.”
Busisa Moyo, CEO of United Refineries whose brand of cooking oil Roil is the main sponsor of the awards, said Roil will always be there to lubricate the prices.
“For the past four years we have been the primary sponsor of the awards and what we have learned from this annual event is a success,” he said. “I can see that we have people from outside Bulawayo and the country and it’s a sign that the brand is growing.
“We look forward to working with other countries to make sure our cultural stories don’t die.”
One of the organizers of the awards, Raisedon Baya, said he was happy that the awards have conquered Covid-19.
“We had doubts about this year’s event because the economy was shut down by the pandemic and we couldn’t go there and look for sponsors,” he said.
“But we’re happy with this year’s success. Young local entrepreneurs have injected various sponsorships into the awards and it’s a sign that Bulawayo artists are finally getting local support.”
The show wasn’t going to be complete without a hint of sparkle and glamor.
The proceedings were broadcast live on social media platforms as well as on national broadcaster ZBCtv. Those who have watched from the comfort of their sofas can attest that the organizers put on a grand presentation.
The stage was lit up. It was by all international standards.
Even the trendy Oscars and Grammys have a thing or two to copy from the RoilBAA event.
What about the fashion and style side of the day?
All participants brought the celebration of Bulawayo as a metropolis with bubbling cultural trends. From the usual costumes to daring designer clothes, no eye could miss the beauty.
To complete the scene were the performances of all the young artists who had the opportunity. New and seasoned creatives performed top-notch acts that kept event attendees spellbound. Some failed to keep their cool as Mawiza sang her song Entumbane kogogo.
The combined acts of the artists for the hit “Masiyephambili” and Sandra Sibanda’s serenade brought more light into the night.
And as a toast to the entertainment was Skhosana Buhlungu’s Dlala Ntethe.
Everything was forgotten when the Grand Hôtel de Ville became a theater of reality. In fact, the room was packed.
For a long time, Bulawayo artists have decried being sidelined, receiving no reward for their work, but on Saturday night, RoilBAA organizers had other avenues.
The corporate world of the city of Bulawayo has embarked on what was seen as a gesture that has come of time. All the awards had the backing of the company.
Not only that, it was further proof that the arts are a key cog in the economy. A partnership that both would like to remain for all.
Topping the charts was the presentation of a fully equipped housing booth and building materials at the People’s Choice Award which was awarded to gospel artist Mai Mwamuka.
Looking back at the hands of time, four years back when prices started, a lot of changes have taken place.
A lot can be said about improvement.
The organizers made a point of showing art lovers that they had grown up. In five years, the event has matured. If the wine matures for a sweeter taste, why not the RoilBAA.
A helping hand !
Below is a list of the 2021 Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards winners:
Outstanding Song of the Year ‘For Me’ – DJ Zandimaz
Newcomer of the year (all genres) – Sandra Sibanda
Outstanding Male Artist of the Year – Msiz’kay
Outstanding Female Artist of the Year – Vuyo Brown
Outstanding Hip-Hop Artist / Actor – Awa
Exceptional Kwaito / House / Gqom Deed – Mawiza
Outstanding Alternative Music – Thandy Dlana
Outstanding Gospel Artist / Actor – Mai Mwamuka
Imbube / Acapella Group / Exceptional act – Focus Accapella
Exceptional act of Tshibilika / Rhumba – Insimbi Zezhwane
Outstanding Music Producer – Nashville
Outstanding Music Video – ‘Induku Enhle’ – X Mile
Exceptional radio DJ – ZiFM Stereo – Nomalanga Nyathi
Outstanding Club DJ – DJ Mzoe
Outstanding Dance Ensemble – Geek Twins
Exceptional dancer – Dorcas Ngwenya
Outstanding Male Dancer – Hebson Ncube
Outstanding Art Journalist – The Chronicle – Mthabisi Tshuma
Outstanding Fine Art Photographer – Sadee LensWorks
Outstanding online media – Ekasi Magazine
Outstanding Theater Actress – Musawenkosi Sibanda
Outstanding Theater Actor – Cedrick Msongelwa
Outstanding Theatrical Production – Bhalagwe Is Burning by Victory Siyanqoba
Outstanding actor – Zwe Hlabangana
Exceptional poet – Désir Moyo
exceptional literary work – Fiction – All Come To Dust by Bryony Rheam
Outstanding Literary Work – Non-fiction – Our Food, Our Heritage, Our Culture by Makhosi Mahlangu
Outstanding Ndebele Literary Work – Ngubani Owabulalala uDube by Mihla Sitsha
Outstanding Fashion / Home Designer – A Tribe Called Zimbabwe
Exceptional model – Ben Chest
Outstanding Ambassador (Global) – Vusa Mkhaya
Outstanding TV Production / Program – Mjolo FM – Byo Memes
Exceptional short film – Figure It Out – Nkosilesisa Ncube
Outstanding Film / Television Actress – Lee Mchoney – Wadiwa Wepamoyo
Outstanding Film / TV Actor – Figure it Out – Leroy Mthulisi Ndlovu