The Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) hunt season was officially launched at the Bulawayo Club recently. To date, social media is abuzz with Zimbabwe’s latest edition to the awards universe and the organisers are hoping for a repeat performance of last year’s success. IndependentXtra’s Admire Kudita (AK) interviewed one of the organisers, Raisedon Baya (RB), on the progress regarding the awards:
By Admire Kudita
AK: How far have you gone with preparations for BAA 2018?
RB: Preparations are going on. The team is running as usual, approaching corporates, individuals and even appealing on social media. We are leaving no stone unturned. We want it bigger and better than last year.
AK: How has the response been in terms of nominations?
RB: Response in terms of nominations and Bulawayo people being excited about it has been great. The awards are trending on social media months before the event. Artists and the public are busy with nominations. At the moment we have reached over 400 nominations. We still have a month to the deadline. It’s very exciting to be getting such a response
AK: How is corporate support? What activities are you engaged in to raise the targeted amount (US$50 000)?
RB: Corporate support is not coming in as we would love it to come. We are talking to many companies, especially local companies. Half of those that supported last year have said they are in for 2018. Waiting to sign up contracts and then we can openly name some of the companies supporting.
AK: Are there areas you might want to change with this year’s awards?
RB: We have been getting a lot of suggestions from the public on areas to improve. Definitely, we are improving our:
- Red carpet experience; and
AK: How many awards are up for grabs this year? I hear you added new categories. Can you elaborate?
RB: Fifty awards up from 40. We added 10:
- Outstanding Playwright;
- Two awards for primary schools. (Best Arts Educator and Best School Effort);
- We split literature into non-fiction and fiction;
- We also split model into male model and female model;
- We again split DJ award into two. Radio DJ and club Dj; and
This year we are giving nominees a special treat before the ceremony. We are organising a dinner for them.
Awards events are the stuff of fan fare and controversy, one hopes the BAA awards will retain last year’s achievement in terms of setting standards of organisation and mass interest. The awards generally eluded much of the controversy that bedevils similar events.