ROOFTOP promotions have launched its inaugural WENE Music Awards in a bid to take care of all music genres from the different regions and cultures in the country.
Speaking to journalist in Harare on Thursday Rooftop Promotions Board Director Ray Mawerera said Zimbabwe has, over the last few years, witnessed an exciting revolution in the arts, and particularly in music, adding that barriers have been broken, new styles have emerged, challenging traditional ways of doing things.
“In fact, with the advent of new technologies and dynamic new ways of interpreting and creating music, what has been happening can only be described as phenomenal,” he said.
“For instance, from the genre called Urban Grooves genre, which refused to be ignored no matter how much it was maligned, we found our young people breaking the fences with new Hip Hop sounds and, even if some of us are still trying to figure it out and to figure out what is happening, it appears to be growing from strength to strength.”
Rooftop Producer Daves Guzha said there are various reasons which motivated his organisation to come up with the idea of WENE Music Awards.
“We have noted that not all awards can take care of all categories. We believe it is the duty of the sub sector to come in and honour its own,” he said.
“To that end WENE is a call to celebrating our Zimbabwean artistic and creative successes, unprecedented release of music across all genres and any society, whatever its other successes, that does not put its culture at the forefront and intertwine its daily existence to its music is a deafeningly failing society.”
Guzha insisted that Rooftop Promotions were not trying to diminish other awards honouring Zimbabwean musicians but felt that they should also take part to make the awards a business platform for musicians, corporate partners and the cultural stake-holders.
WENE is an acronym meaning ‘ours’ and ‘ownership’ of a product.
He also added that the success of local music has seen artist creating and strengthening locally conceived genres that have given Zimbabweans an unmistakable identity.
Musicians such as Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Cool Crooners, Lovemore Majaivana, the late Chiwoniso Maraire, her father Dumi Maraire, Albert Nyathi, Runn Family, Bhundu Boys and many such luminaries have given Zimbabwean music prominence on the international scene thereby strengthening local culture and identity.Advertisement
These artists have taken Zimbabwean music to the people with pride and as such local culture has spread to other corners of the world through their unwavering efforts.
“The WENE Music Awards are about not only acknowledging our vast talent across the various genres, across the length and breadth of our country, but to urge our artists on and encouraging an improvement in the standards,” added Guzha.
“Some of the most phenomenal artists that we have actually hailed from remote places, even historically such as the likes of Skuza, Jonah Moyo and even Jah Prayzah – had he not come to Harare he would not be the big star that he is today.”
WENE want to encourage adjudicators to scan the entire country for such talent.
The WENE Music Awards will be held on the 29th October this year.