Bulawayo Arts Awards third edition launched

THE 2019 Bulawayo Arts Awards were last week launched at an occasion graced by the who-is-who of the city’s entertainment sector.

By Admire Kudita

United Refineries was revealed as the title sponsor once again after having carried the honours last year. The awards are officially titled Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards.

Roil Byo Arts Awards (BAA) are a multi-disciplinary arts awards that recognise and honour exceptional individuals and collaborative artistic efforts in the city of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and South. Those born in Bulawayo and practicing art around the world are eligible.

According to the organisers, the “awards know no race or tribe as the awards base is a cosmopolitan city. The awards are curated to recognise good effort and talent amongst local artists”.

The inaugural edition of the awards was held on June 30 2017 at the Large City Hall in Bulawayo against a background of skepticism around the very idea.

Three years down the line, with massive corporate backing to the tune $65 000, up from last year’s $10 000, the sponsorship package has buoyed efforts by stakeholders within the sector to cement the city’s position as a cultural and entertainment hub.

“This year we have added three more awards on top of the 50 awards including a category for music producers. The imbube and a’capella categories have been separated. A third category has been added of outstanding artist impacting their community,” Nkululeko Nkala, one of the organisers of the awards, said.

Traditionally held in the Large City Hall, this year the event, dubbed “The biggest dress-up event in Bulawayo”, moves to the Trade Fair and will be held on June 30.

The new venue seats 4 500 people. One of the stated goals of the awards is “to motivate artists to do better and maximise their full potential” and the awards have grown by leaps and bounds.