ON Tuesday the most glamorous red carpet event Bulawayo has ever seen rebranded from what was known as the Bulawayo Arts Awards to Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RBAA) after United Refineries injected $20 000 making them the major partners of the awards.
For such a big event to be successful, one of the organisers of the awards Raisedon Baya earlier on this year revealed that at least $50 000 was needed to make the event colourful and successful like its first edition which was held last year.
As the Bulawayo giant cooking oil manufacturing company United Refineries has injected almost half of the budget needed for the awards to take place, which on its own gives hope that this yeara��s event which is slated for 26 May at the Large City Hall will meet expected standards as the previous sponsors will also sponsor the 2018 edition.
The RBAA are meant to recognise local talent in music, dance, poetry, acting, fashion and photography which underscores the need for the awards ceremony to get all the necessary support from the length and breadth of the City of Kings and Queens.
People from Bulawayo have done their part submitting their artistesa�� nominations of choice which reached over 2 000 nominations online. This shows Bulawayo is behind the RBAA.
Local companies must also lend a hand and sponsor the awards which bring pride to Bulawayo as their social corporate responsibility policy just like what United Refineries did.
Why should local companies invest in the RBAA?
In other countries like the neighbouring South Africa, different companies sponsor awards in a format of each category sponsored by each company.
This allows sponsors to generate money and focus on the category they are sponsoring, no wonder one South African Music Award (Sama) can be complemented with over R100 000 on top of the award, meaning an artiste who wins four awards in one night can go home R400 000 richer, an amount which can buy a brand new Toyota Fortuner in that country.
As a way of encouraging other companies to sponsor the awards, speaking at the official re-branding ceremony, Busisa Moyo, the chief executive officer for United Refineries married Bulawayoa��s two hubs which are the manufacturing industry and the arts sector.
a�?Bulawayo is the hub of the manufacturing industry, on the other hand it is Zimbabwea��s cultural hub, therefore for the arts sector to grow in leaps and bounds local companies has to support the arts fraternity so that Bulawayo remains the best in as far as Zimbabwean arts sector is concerned,a�? said Moyo.
As last yeara��s award winners received gongs only without little money as a token of appreciation, this yeara��s winners will at least get the award with a sum of $200 on top which is a great achievement to the awards and encourages artistes to work even harder.