The National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) is the premier award  given by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts and culture.  The inaugural NAMA was held in February 2002 honouring artists who excelled in 2001.  Since then, NAMA award ceremonies have been held in February of each year to recognise artists who would have excelled in the previous year. NAMA has reviewed its categories for the 15th Edition and beyond after carrying some country wide consultative forums.

Aim / Objectives


NAMA aims to recognise outstanding talent and excellence in the different fields of Zimbabwean art and culture.


NAMA hopes to achieve the following:

  • Inspire Zimbabwean artists to strive for higher and original forms of artistic achievement and excellence.

  • Provide opportunity for the publicity and marketing of the arts locally and internationally.

  • Encourage and attract more players to join the arts and culture sector.

  • Confirm the arts and cultural industries as capable of improving the status and quality of life of practitioners.

  • Increase the appreciation, consumption and enjoyment of Zimbabwean art locally and internationally.

Who & How to Participate

Who can Participate

All Zimbabwean artists from any of  the artistic disciplines and categories who would have excelled in a particular year are eligible for selection.  Zimbabwean residents are also free to submit their entries.

How To Participate

Entry forms can be obtained from NACZ offices, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, registered arts associations and organizations in Zimbabwe. Individuals, associations and organizations that have in-depth knowledge of the artists whom they think produced quality  and outstanding work during the year under review can fill-in the forms giving the particulars of the artists or groups entered.

Criteria for Selection

  • NACZ appoints individual and institutional Monitors who will be monitoring excelling artists throughout the year.  These are professional individuals with an in-depth knowledge of the arts as well as arts organizations of repute.
    A panel of Independent Adjudicators is then appointed to preside over all the submissions.

  • Three entries are then selected for each award category.
  • The Adjudicators are guided by well laid down selection criteria which include the following:
  1. Creativity and Originality,
  2. Originality and Innovativeness ,
  3. Development and Construction,
  4. Characterization,
  5. Strong Competitive Ideas,
  6. Entertainment Value,
  7. Design and Layout,
  8. Use of Instruments,
  9. General Appeal, and
  10. Size of Audience Built.

The Award

Winners receive a trophy and a certificate.

Closing Date

The opening date for entries is 1st December each year and the closing date for submission of entries is 30th  November of the following year.

Nomination Requirements

  • All entries must be accompanied by the artist’s product where possible. These could be in the form of videotapes, cassettes,  CDs, DVDs, pictures and books where possible.

  • Works of art to be considered should be submitted either through an Arts Organization, (institution or organization registered with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe) or directly to the National Arts Council Offices at Provinces or Head Office.

  • Artists submitting their works  are encouraged to supply three sets  to assist in the adjudication process, with the exception of visual arts products.

  • NACZ reserves the right to retain artifacts. In cases where artifacts have to be returned to the owner, please ensure they are collected no later than 30th May of each year after the awards ceremony.

  • Only Zimbabwean citizens or those with resident status are eligible for selection.

  • The adjudicators’ decision is final