Pathisa Nyathi Receives BZS Lifetime Achievement Award

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By Paidashe Mandivengerei

RENOWNED poet and historian, Pathisa Nyathi has been honoured with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement award by the Britain-Zimbabwe Society (BZS).

The inaugural award celebrates Nyathi’s phenomenal work and dedication to Zimbabwe’s arts and culture industry.

The Lifetime Achievement Award replaced the Young Researcher’s Prize which was previously issued as a form of encouragement to young scholars.

The BZS awards ceremony held annually on Research Day at the Oxford University was this year celebrated virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In conferring the award, BZS president, Knox Chitiyo described the Bulawayo based culturalist as a literary icon.

“This year we launched the BZS Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises long-standing excellence in a particular field.

“We are delighted that the inaugural winner of the BZS Lifetime Achievement Award is Pathisa Nyathi.

“He has achieved iconic status as a writer, historian, arts promoter and practitioner, and as a Zimbabwean cultural authority and custodian.

“Nyati’s literature mainly focuses on Ndebele and wider Zimbabwean tradition, social economy, past, present and future, he has earned himself immense fame in Zimbabwe, southern Africa and beyond.”

Nyathi was in 2018 honoured again with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the by the National Arts Merit Awards and was recently named in its Top 40 legends.

He takes keen interest in preserving a rich culture and tradition with the bulk of his works written in Ndebele.

Receiving the award, the cultural icon said being bestowed with such honour meant a lot to him.

Added Nyathi, “Little did I realise that there were people in BZS who were keenly following my work in the same sector.

“As this award is being given for the first time, being its inaugural recipient means a lot to me, that I have been bestowed with a rare and cherished accolade that is both unique and exceptional.

“I feel greatly honoured and immensely humbled and forever indebted to the BZS.

“This is all the more gratifying and rewarding as it comes in the year of my 70th birthday when I am penning my autobiography. The book, ‘Pathisa Nyathi@70: A Life Dedicated to the Arts, Culture and Heritage’ is set to be launched in September this year. On behalf of my family, colleagues and friends may I wholeheartedly thank BZS for the rare and humbling honour.”