ZIMBABWE – It is just four days after New Year and many have lined up their resolutions on what they aim to do in 2016.
If you have not yet planned for the year ahead, it is not too late yet and we still have a long way to go this year.
And, as culture and creativity become an increasing driving force in the local, regional and international marketplace, it is essential to measure their impact not only on the economy but also on society at large.
2016 should provide an overview of the main approaches to assessing the economic and social importance of culture.
The year 2015 was eventful with a lot of events taking place across the country.
It is the year that saw the Zimdancehall artistes continuing their dominance and authority on the local music scene.
If anything, they sank their teeth deeper and never made it a secret that they were out to make the big kill in the music jungle.
Killer T ruled the roost with his impressive album “Ngoma Ndaimba” with all the tracks on the album like “Ngavatendwe”, “Toda Kumbofarawo Kani”, “Maisafana Kundirega” as well as the title track “Ngoma Ndaimba” making an impact.
Also, Soul Jah Love, Seh Calaz, Tocky Vibes, Winky D, Dadza D and Kinnah worked to keep the genre up the charts on the music map. Towards the end of the year, Winky D proved to his fans that he is still the king of dancehall after releasing singles compilation which is now causing airwaves.
With 2016, it remains to be seen if these artistes will maintain the same momentum and further consolidate their stature, presence and grip in the cut-throat music game. Jah Prayzah as usual held his own with his unique type of music and his album.
“Jerusarema”. received massive rotation while most of his shows were always sold out.
With the release of his DVD album, the musician has so far on lead with high defini0tion up to standard quality videos. Together with the likes of superstar Oliver Mtukudzi as well as dendera star Suluman Chimbetu, Jah Prayzah also lifted the country’s flag high beyond the Zimbabwean borders when they performed in the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa among other countries.
It also remains to be seen if these three enormously gifted musicians will maintain pole positions in the game that is seeing a crop of talented new artistes like Andy Muridzo emerging and threatening to turn the tables.
The year 2016 is the year that the local modelling industry should spruce up its image and shake off the mud that tainted the industry in 2015. This is the year that we expect to hear nothing about sex-tapes and of shop-lifting models.
The authorities in the industry should start doing their homework to make sure that this industry retains its former glory and lustre. As one artiste put, 2015 was a year of learning a lot of things, “gore rino muchadzidza zvakawanda”. The industry had a lot to learn in 2015 and this year should prove that there were many lessons in the previous 12 months.
It is sad that the modelling industry lost a guru and passionate personality, Kiki Divaris. May her soul rest in peace. We pray and hope those in the industry take the work that she began to another level. We also hope that the fashion weekends will be less to avoid confusion and they should have a meaning.
The film festivals that Zimbabwe hosts annually are also poised for greater things in 2016, what with television channels like Zambezi Magic calling for film producers to submit their works for consideration. Of late, the television industry is improving and we can say 2015 was a better year because of many local productions sprouting and dominating in the regional platforms and channels. Last year saw Zororo Makamba making headlines with his television show “Tonight with Zororo” which saw many reputable celebrities being interviewed.
The Zimbabwe International Film Festival, among others, has been on the forefront of promoting local productions and projecting them on an international platform and this and more should characterise 2016.
Come February and the National Arts Merit Awards will be held where the artists who excelled in 2015 will be rewarded. In 2016, we expect the Namas to be better organised, glamorous and match international standards, while the artistes and the presenters should also help in making this occasion a huge success.
A surprise to look out for is something organisers of HIFA said is brewing although there is no festival in 2016.
2015 saw many awards ceremony sprouting up and surprisingly the same people were just receiving recognition in controversial circumstances and most organisers failed to justify their results. 2016 should be a year of turnaround when it comes to rewarding personalities
One of the biggest disappointments of 2015 was when Alick Macheso kept his legion of fans guessing whether he was going to release his new album or not. Come 2016, Macheso should own up and put a smile on the faces of his followers by dropping the bombshell, if ever it is going to be one, considering that he has lost most of his key members.
2015 saw many international acts like I-Octane, Burna Boy, AKA, Busy Signal, Roberto, Mafikizolo and Davido among others coming to Zimbabwe and music lovers are already scratching their heads guessing who might be next to grace Zimbabwean soil.
Just keep your fingers crossed, you never know, it could be Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Usher or even Mariah Carey who is set to host a concert in South Africa come May 2016 will visit Zimbabwe.
By the way we were once promised Nicki Minaj! We hope she will make it this year.
Another year is ahead and the industry is ready for the good and the best. We hope in December 2016 we will have of good stories to tell.