LOCAL artistes have won the right to contest in their own categories at the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards because their works cannot be compared to internationally produced music.
Raisedon Baya, one of the organisers of the awards set for 26 May 2018, said there would be two categories for the foreign legion.
a�?Foreign-based artistes will battle alone in their categories which are Bulawayo Ambassador based in South Africa and Bulawayo Ambassador based in the rest of the world categories,a�? said Baya.
The move was welcomed by most Bulawayo artistes who feel the quality of their products is yet to reach higher levels.
a�?The standard of music production in Bulawayo has not reached its peak. This means we cana��t be nominated with foreign-based artistes under one category as their musical standard is proper compared to us, otherwise if we battle with them they are likely to scoop all the awards,a�? said Mzoe 7, one of Bulawayoa��s leading lights.
But South Africa-based Afro Jazz sensation Bothwell a�?Bekezelaa�? Nkomo felt the move would freeze them out when they actually carry the citya��s flag high.
a�?We are from Bulawayo so we have a right to be nominated since Bulawayo is our home and we are representing the city and our country out there,a�? he said.
To justify the debate, local arts practitioner Raisedon Baya gave insight as to why this year the selection criteria was different.
Meanwhile, today (27 April) RoilBAA will be unveiling the 2018 nominees list at the Bulawayo Theatre from 5pm. Admission is free.