The National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) will be held on 27th February 2021 under the theme ‘Our Legacy, Our Pride’.

NACZ Director Mr Nicholas Moyo told journalists in Harare today that NAMA shall celebrate Zimbabwe’s 40th anniversary as well as the 35 years of National Arts Council existence.

“This will be a unique event in the sense that on the night we shall honour forty (40) legends as we celebrate 40 years of Independence, we therefore have dubbed it NAMA Legends Awards’, Mr Moyo said.

The Director said the Legends Awards provided for a strategic postponement of the competitive 20TH NAMA whose hosting hung on the balance due to COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.

“The prestigious competitive annual awards are therefore postponed for a year owing to the impact of the COVID-19 disease on creativity and the arts sector in particular over the past 8 months. In reaching the decision to postpone the competitive NAMA, NACZ is cognisant of the fact that a lack of activity in the sector has greatly affected the ability of artists to create in their usual spaces”, he said.

Mr Moyo added that while the NACZ recognized that some arts disciplines were able to operate under the stringent lockdown conditions, the whole integrity of NAMA stood to be compromised in a situation where there were significant inhibitions to creativity created by the stringent lockdown regulations.

“In this regard the postponed NAMA will be held in February 2022 and will reward art works created in the period 1st December 2019 to 30th November 2021. This extended period is to allow artists to resume their operations in light of the relaxed COVID19 regulations”, the Director said.

Mr Moyo said by hosting the Legends Awards the NACZ desired to reflect on the developments in the Cultural and Creative Industries over the past 40 years and celebrate the achievements by providing honorary awards to the people who were influential during the period in shaping the various subsectors of the CCIs. The awards are a special honour and recognition to legendary creatives who have raised high the flag of the country over the stated period.

The legends Awards are meant to inspire practitioners in the sector which is reopening under the post COVID-19 conditions to take advantage of the new creative environment and get back to their creative spaces and produce artworks that will make them the future legends.