The Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RBBA) were moving, made people reflect, and above all honored the artists who have worked hard for the past year.
They were held at the Large City Hall on Saturday night and those who watched them online were all intrigued at the nearly seamless presentation of the ceremony.
It was a celebration of arts excellence in the province touted as the arts and culture hub of Zimbabwe.
This year has been a difficult one, as art activities were cut short because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the artistes decided to soldier on and used the pandemic as inspiration.
The few spaces that artistes were operating from were shut down and many lost incomes. Many artistes this year suffered under the Covid-19 pandemic and the awards rewarded them for their arts excellence and reliance despite the trying times. The awards were, at one time, nearly scrapped because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, through standing firm on the belief that the awards should go ahead as they were the celebration that was needed this year, it was about the nominees and winners.
The awards started off with a moving tribute to the late Zim hip-hop king Cal Vin. He was killed following a hit and run accident metres from his Luveve 5 home, last month. The culprits have not been caught.
Cal Vin’s song Thabani was the backdrop that was used to pay tribute to him through a live band and a grouping of dancers and back up singers.
Outstanding Male nominees, Asaph, Msizkay, Hwabaraty and Madlela took the lead to sing along to Cal Vin’s hit song, Banjalo Abantu.
At the end of the performance, Cal Vin’s mother Sinikiwe Luphahla, was brought on stage to present the Mgcini Calvin Nhliziyo Hip Hop award. This award was named after Cal Vin in his honour after his death.
“I’d like to thank you for honouring my son. I believe he is smiling wherever he is,” said Luphahla, before announcing the winner.
The award was taken by Asaph who has won it for three years in a row. He dedicated it to the late Cal Vin.
Internet sensation and Nkayi-based musician Sikhosana Band won the Outstanding Newcomer award and it was a song Isomiso, about the coronavirus pandemic and how it has ravished the nation that got him the nod.
Renowned author and historian, Pathisa Nyathi was awarded the Life Achievement Award which was befitting.
Nyathi has been consistent in his works from acting as Nare on Kukhulwa Kokuphela, to writing over 50 books on the history of the country and its traditions.
Nyathi, a wealth of knowledge in all things cultural and historical, thanked people for recognising him while he was still alive.
“The arts identify us as a people. The arts give us our identity, the arts locate us in space and time. For me the journey has been very long, as I sat down, I was thinking when did the journey start. It started in 1969 when I was in Form Three.
“But still going strong even today. There’s nothing more pleasing, more satisfying to be honoured in your lifetime.
More so when those doing that are your own people. Thank you,” said Nyathi.
He said as he turns 70 next year, he will share the journey of his life, hinting that a book is in the pipeline.
Another highlight was, after two years on the sidelines because of health issues, Diliza made a come-back on stage with an energetic performance.
Another performance to note was that of Mandie Mae, a 19-year-old reggae artiste who got people on their feet.
Full list of RoilBAA winners
- Mgcini Cal Vin Nhliziyo Outstanding Hip Hop Artist
- Outstanding Female Dancer
- Beauty Matshawila -Hloseni Arts
- Outstanding Male Dancer
- Prince Chibansha -Super Geeks
- Outstanding Theatre Actress
- Musa Sibanda on 6.55
- Outstanding Theatre Actor
- Ronald Sigeca
- Outstanding Theatre Production
- Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
- Yvonne Maphosa
- Outstanding Literary Work (Non-Fiction)
- Self-Starters by Njabulo Moyo
- Outstanding Ndebele Literary Work
- Mihla Sitsha Tsheza
- Outstanding Film and TV Actress
- Charmaine Mudau
- Outstanding Film Actor
- Calvin Madula
- Outstanding Short Film
- Scars Amanxeba
- Outstanding TV Production
- Outstanding Poet
- Obert Dube
- Outstanding Comedian
- Chik Aljoy
- Outstanding Arts Photographer
- Tinashe Charleson
- Outstanding Arts Journalist
- Bongani Ndlovu – Chronicle
- Outstanding Online Media
- Fokus Magazine
- Outstanding Female Model
- Ayanda Candice Sibanda
- Outstanding Male Model
- Ben Chest
- Outstanding Fashion Designer
- Outstanding Club DJ
- DJ Yugoe
- Outstanding Kwaito | House | Gqom Artist | Act
- Outstanding Alternative Music Act
- Outstanding Gospel Artist Act
- Mai Mwamuka
- Outstanding Imbube Accapela Act
- Indosakusa The Morning Star
- Outstanding Tshibilika Artist Rhumba Act
- Madlela Skhobokhobo
- Outstanding Music Producer
- Godwin Smallz – Elephant Herd Records
- Outstanding Male Artist
- Outstanding Female Artist
- Vuyo Brown
- Outstanding Radio DJ
- Manurse Ndlovu
- Outstanding Dance Ensemble
- Outstanding Music Video
- Asambeni by Mzoe 7
- Outstanding Song of The Year
- Amalobolo by Ngoma Ingoma
- Outstanding Newcomer Across All Genres
- Sikhosana Buhlungu
- Life Achievement
- Pathisa Nyathi