6 Brilliant Zimbabweans You’ve Probably Never Heard Of That Got NAMA 2016 Awards

They may not be household names like Winky D, Dominic Benhura, Iyasa and other such, but these are Zimbabwean stars in their own right. Award winning achievers, but blank stares is what you will get from most Zimbabweans at the mention of these stars’ names. So we felt duty bound to celebrate them here seeing they just bagged NAMA awards at the just ended NAMA 2016 ceremony.

Togara Muzanenhamo, co-author Textures

Image via: YouTube

Image via: YouTube

Awarded for Outstanding fiction work on Textures, Togara Muzanenhamo is a journalist, accomplished creative writer and poet. “Muzanenhamo’s poems have appeared in many magazines. His first collection, Spirit Brides, was published in 2006 by Carcanet Press and reached the shortlist of the Jerwood Anderson First Collection Prize. His second collection, Gumiguru, was published in 2014. At the end of 2014 came Muzanenhamo’s third: Textures, which, alongside his own writing, also featured verses by John Eppel.” Source: Poetry International Rotterdam


Sean Mambwere, Choreographer

Sean Mambwere and his dance group

Sean Mambwere (second from right) and his dance group. Image credit: Zimbojam

Sean Mambwe is actually not a first time NAMA Award recipient. In 2014, he won the outstanding choreographer NAMA award. However, outside the arts industry, few people know who Mambwere is. He is the founder of River of Live Xtreme (ROLX) Dance Trust. To date, the group won the Zimbabwe National Hip Hop Dance Championship Finals in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012.  At this year’s NAMA awards, Mambwere scooped two awards: Outstanding Male Dancer and Outstanding Choreographer for work with M&M Dance Factory. Mambwere is not just about dance. He’s has a NUST degree in Applied Mathematics! Source: Zimbojam.


Watch Mambwere in action here:

Mavis Tauzeni, Visual Artist

Mavis Tauzen

Mavis Tauzeni. Image Credit: Nyasha Jeche, Zimbojam

Mavis Tauzeni is Visual artists based in Harare, whose work has been exhibited at the National Art Gallery. She got a Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work NAMA award for her piece Tears of a Woman. Her work has been on display internationally, such as at the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London.


Farai Tandi, sculptor

Farai Tandi

Farai Tandi

Farai Tandi is a sculptor who has said about his art “I did not start carving, I was born carving.” As the early age of 10, Tandi was already carving stones and says he got his inspiration from his father Thomas Tandi, also a sculptor. Tandi got was awarded for Outstanding 3 Dimensional Work at this year’s NAMA awards.

Samantha Chihuri, author of Chaotic

Samantha Chihuri

Samantha Chihuri. Image Credit: Sunday Mail

Samantha has been awarded the Outstanding First Creative Published Works for her book Chaotic. The book is about Amari a girl who, “after being dealt a very harsh set of cards by life, she somehow finds that inner courage that she never knew existed and seizes it, changes her life, and those of her family and friends.”


Nyaradzo Nhongonhema, Actress

Nyaradzo Nhongonhema

A university graduate with a degree in Theatre Arts and French, Nyaradzo Nhongo got a Outstanding Actress NAMA 2016 award for her role in Chimbwido, the Girl of War. Though little known outside the arts sector, Nyari has played a number of prominent roles including the character of Jane and Jill in a Dambudzo Marechera play called Pub Stories: Tony Fights Tonite. 

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