MASVINGO –Artists and creatives in Masvingo have accused organisers of the Masvingo Achievers Awards (MAA) held at Flamboyant Hotel on Friday last week of using them as a fundraising tool.
Artists who spoke to The Mirror after the show expressed disgust saying they were made to pay US$3 for posters inviting fans to the show. They also bemoaned how some prominent creatives like Abel Mauchi was left out of the awards while others alleged that they paid US$25 for food and refreshments but stared at empty plates and toothpicks throughout the show.
Others complained that the awards ceremony was hijacked by Zanu PF as Minister of State for Masvingo Ezra Chadzamira, Zanu PF Masvingo chairman Rabson Mavhenyengwa, Zaka East MP Clemence Chiduwa and Zanu PF Masvingo Ward 6 councillor and deputy councillor Wellington Mahwende gave speeches which lasted long and received special recognition awards.
The awards also ran under the theme; #Masvingo Inovakwa Nevene Vayo which is President Mnangagwa’s mantra, Zimbabwe Inovakwa Nevene Vayo.
Show organiser, Donovan Takaendesa told The Mirror that there was no prize money for artists but the certificates were signed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and therefore hold value. He also said that Government officials at the show were present because the certificates had been signed by Mnangagwa.
Johanes Mupisa who won an award posted in a WhatsApp group that the awards were biased and did nothing to uplift artists.
“Relating to the MAA awards I bemoan such a splendid idea put in the hands of people who mismanaged the event. Imagine a nominee being asked to fork out US$25 to sit at the VIP table but only to stare at an empty plate with a toothpick and a sachet of salt throughout the event.
“For me it was a money milking expedition on the part of the organisers. Next time we need to have better awards. More so the Masvingo they talked about is the town because how can you have awards without nominating Abel Mauchi living in rural Gutu?
The financial part was worse because these guys secured funding but did not give the artists anything. The awards certificates even had wrong spellings,” said Mupisa.
“I believe that they only nominated artists with capacity to fork out money. I brought my family and paid US$20 only to receive a certificate. You cannot talk about creativity in Masvingo and fail to mention Abel Mauchi. He has put Masvingo on the map and it’s a shame that he was not nominated or even recognised,” said another artist.