Urban Culture a blessing to the arts

Nkululeko Nkala

IT’S hard to believe that multi-award winning online magazine Urban Culxure (UC) is less than 5 years old. It seems like yesterday when they started writing about arts and yet they have as a brand been growing in leaps and bounds. 

They are renowned for their 100 influential people’s list, which sets tongues wagging and is also like a calendar event for many.

If anything I am certain they have made many friends as they have enemies with their unorthodox but refreshingly honest interpretation of arts and culture reporting. On that note, it comes as no surprise that they got a nomination for Outstanding Online Media against heavily “monied” brands like ZOL and CapitalK for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) to be held next week in Harare.

This is not the first dance between Nama and Urban Culxure. There is that famous rant by then content manager Nigel Ndlovu who, at not being part of the nominees list, took to social media to give Nama the F word. He had not taken kindly to the snub as he felt it was their time. Word on the street is that the rant may have led to the fall out between Nigel and the publication’s founder Kudakwashe Takundwa. Takundwa now leads a strong team of Keith Moyo, Charmaine Mudau, Praise Dhlakama, Kudakwashe Chikwanda and Cyril Ngcebetsha.

I am particularly pleased with that UC are getting national recognition and I do wish they win it. They have worked too hard to make UC a brand of note. They have three awards to their name, two of them being BAA, a Zim Hip Hop awards nomination and finally Shoko Hub Your Voice award.

Still on awards, as promised we launched Bulawayo Arts Awards 2019 last Friday at Bulawayo Theatre. I am happy to let you know our 2018 title sponsor is back again this year with a good RTGS$55 000, halfway through our planned RTGS$110 000 event. It promises to be an even bigger RoilBAA as we are also moving venue from what was now our traditional City Hall venue to ZITF, thanks to our partnership with the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre.

Also of note to creatives in and around Bulawayo, we have also opened for nominations and submissions for the 2019 cycle. The deadline for nominations is 26 April, with the nominees to be revealed on the 1st of May and eventually the actual awards on the 29th of June. Outside of the amazing sponsorship creatives can rest well with the addition of three new awards namely producer of the year, choral outfit of the year and artist contributing to their community which is supported by YITT.

As part of engagement artistes can collaborate in producing the soundtrack for BAA 2019 which comes with a slot to perform and prize money. Here is wishing the best of luck to all 2019 Nama nominees from Bulawayo. Bring back those gongs.

Until next week, be safe … @nkuenkala 0772214373