#RoilBAA awards were almost scrapped away. Under the new normal, the awards will be held virtually with only a select few being allowed to physically watch the awards ceremony. This is the new way of doing things, something which affected the arts from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s edition of the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAAs) was almost scrapped because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but through the event organisers’ resilience and thinking outside the box, the awards will be held today.
As from March this year, the arts bore the brunt of the global pandemic as their activities were barred. Arts spaces – galleries, youth centres, bars, theatre houses and the like – were shut down because these are the places that governments believed could cause a spike in infections.
During this time, some event organisers decided to move into the virtual space and try and make ends meet there. Some failed and others succeeded as platforms such as Credisi and Bulawayo Arts Festival did well in the virtual realm and gave artistes spaces to express their talent.
The RoilBAAs which were supposed to be held in August were also affected and had to be postponed indefinitely with organisers hoping that the pandemic would blow over at some point. But alas, the nation and the world are still in the middle of the Covid-19 storm and it seems not to be relenting.
Still monitoring the situation, RoilBAAs organisers at some point contemplated cancelling the awards since arts spaces were closed. Also, because of the pandemic, businesses were affected meaning sponsors of the awards were also in a fix.
Nkululeko Nkala, the RoilBAAs spokesperson said there was a time they contemplated not holding the awards. “There was a time that we thought for this year, let’s not hold the awards. The future looked bleak as business was subdued due to the lockdown. It was a headache that we had every day.
“We’d set the date (August 29) at the beginning of the year and all was set until the Covid-19 pandemic happened,” said Nkala. However, he said there was light at the end of the tunnel as United Refineries pledged to be their principal sponsor.
“There were few sponsors that came forward and we’re grateful to United Refineries through their Roil brand for not pulling out. This is the support that most artistes need. It’s key that even in times of crisis, they get support so that their lives move forward,” said Nkala.
Arts must go on is the mantra and that is what drove RoilBAAs organisers to continue with the awards this year. And indeed, the arts must go on because, without them, the world would not have made it through the pandemic sanely as artistes gave and continue to give people the much-needed relief.
So today, instead of fans dressing up for the premier arts awards, they can do so in the comfort of their homes. Instead of them packing the Large City Hall or the colossal ZITF Hall 4 like last year, they can congregate virtually on the Bulawayo Arts Awards Facebook page and watch the awards from there.
Media personality Sizawakele “Zwa” Ndlovu, ZiFM Stereo’s Armad and Patience “Pat” Phiri are set to host the awards that are taking place at the Large City Hall in the evening. Zwa and Armad will be the main stage hosts while Phiri will be the anchor of the awards.
Welcoming nominees on the red carpet will be Breeze FM radio producer and presenter, Tinashe “Sycho” Okamaskhosana and Onvi TV presenter Thembie “Ntie” Phiedarh. Entertainment will be provided by Asaph, Madlela Skhobokhobo, Fish McSwagg, Msizkay and Vocal Ex among many others.
This almost came to effect at the police during the show tried to shutdown the event. But the winners of the night had already been named though.
Source – Chronicle
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