AFTER last week’s announcement of the nominees for this year’s Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima), it is now clear that the awards ceremony is back with a bang after a lengthy hiatus.
This time, the coordinating team appears to have pulled out all the stops towards what promises to be a top-drawer event.
The awards take place this Saturday, January 25, at the refurbished Newlands Sports Club in Harare.
Headlined by sponsor PPC Zimbabwe, various other corporate partners have come on board to support the return of these prestigious awards, which were last held in 2016.
One of these sponsors is Wezhaz Executive Cars, a top-end car dealership situated in Harare’s Milton Park suburb, a stone’s throw from the central business district.
The Sunday Mail Society caught up with the car dealership’s chief executive officer, Exevia “Wezhaz” Maoneke, who promised to bring pomp to the January 25 event.
“Wezhaz Executive Cars is all about premium driving convenience and experience. We have over a decade experience in this sector and we strongly feel that we have a mandate to support all national events, especially those with a bearing towards brand Zimbabwe.
“This year we have designed various initiatives aimed at contributing to national programmes and events, and we are starting by adding some oomph to the Zima awards ceremony through availing what we specialise in, top-of-the-range vehicles,” Maoneke said.
The charismatic businessman, who is also the founding vice chairperson of the Zimbabwe Business and Arts Hub (Zibah), revealed that beyond sponsoring the Zima awards’ Best Music Video, they will also avail their swanky vehicles for celebrities and dignitaries on the day.
“An event of Zima’s magnitude must not go unnoticed. The world will be watching and we can’t afford to sell brand Zimbabwe short. This is the little we can do to contribute to the country’s image building,” Maoneke said.
An affable character, with interests in the entertainment industry plus various other business lines including commodity broking, Maoneke revealed his passion for local arts, promising to remain a Zima sponsor as well as other programmes of national importance.
“My support for Zima is not a fluke, I’m into entertainment through Wezhaz Sports Bars, which has given various artistes a launch pad. Our plan is to continue sponsoring future editions of the Zima awards and other events as part of our corporate social responsibility programmes.
“We strongly believe in giving back to the community that supports our business and again, it is everyone’s responsibility to support national programmes,” Maoneke said.
With his dealership boasting a huge fleet ranging from the latest SUVs, trucks and efficient fuel savers, Maoneke said they have everything for everyone.
“Wezhaz Executive Cars has got a package for everyone. We have the best rides for celebrities, executives and even our policy makers, hence we felt compelled to demonstrate what we can offer by availing these cars free of charge to Zima.
“We want the cars to speak beyond our challenges as a country while presenting perfect Kodak moments for our celebrities as they arrive for the event,” Maoneke said.
Zima chief executive officer, Reason Sibanda, said as the awards ceremony celebrates 16 years of musical excellence and creativity, it is important to also recognise the various partners that have come on board to partner them.
“Zima has a new team that consists of people with experience emanating from various stints with international festivals and awards like the Bulawayo Arts Awards, Glastonbury, Mtv Africa Music Awards and the South African Music Awards.
“We have returned to stay and we promise to consistently recognise, promote and celebrate our musicians. For that reason, we are grateful to all the partners that have come on board to support this national programme. Special mention goes to cement company PPC Zimbabwe, who are our main sponsor,” Sibanda said.
The Zima awards this Saturday open the awards season in Zimbabwe, with the big ones taking place in the next 40 days.
The Star FM Music Awards take place on February 22, followed by the National Arts Merit Awards a week later.
Critics have commended the variety and competition on the local awards scene, highlighting that it is a healthy development for the arts sector.