Whenever it’s awards season, that is, from nominations to days after the awards, the shift from excitement to disappointment is almost gradual with each announcement. More or less like any Zim warriors game which starts with very high hopes of a surprise win and ends with disappointment again of what could have been ‘a breaking world record’ situation. This is what has been happening ever since I can recall, no awards have come and gone without mouths being bitter and harsh words thrown around, which in a way is to be expected in any competition anyways.
Some people (if not most) always cry fowl and feel short changed by the whole process. As an artist, this should never happen (in public), your work should speak for you. I believe a good artist should be the last person to complain of not being nominated or rather winning a particular award, rather at the forefront should be the fans, your target market, the ones whom you’re doing the work for. They should be the ones at the forefront of trying to understand how their favourite artist isn’t on the list after putting out Ah-Mazing projects.
Not to take away anything from artists who feel robbed, I know how it feels not to be recognized after giving it your all, especially if winning an award is a sign of your progression. I mean who wouldn’t want their bio to read: Award winning artist?
My 2 cents extend to curators of awards in Zim, the custodians of our artistic happiness so to speak. Transparency is all we ask and we will take care of the rest. Sometimes we’re quick to judge and brush you off as scams and all but maybe there are particular attributes you’re looking for in particular categories that we wouldn’t know about hence if we’re told before hand via popular & efficient channels then maybe the complaining would be justified. Sometimes we have to submit, other times we’re nominated but either way we have to know. I remember a year ago some prominent Hip Hop artist bragging about how they won a Zim Hip Hop award without even submitting their music while another artist from a different city was at the fore front of complaining about award irregularities only to find out that they hadn’t submitted anything. No artist would wanna be remembered for such stories, even the awards they win will be would be null & void.
But like I mentioned before, as Zimbabweans we are full of hope, good hope, that’s why it’s always messy when things don’t go our way. We’re always benchmarking local products with regional and international trends hence the gap is always big and takes a lot to fill. But I encourage fellow artists to put in the necessary work, register where possible, submit what’s needed, and leave the rest to relevant authorities, and only question them when & where necessary.