BY PRECIOUS CHIDA

BUDDING Afro-pop artiste, Isheanesu “Ishan” Chigagura was the toast of the night at Saturday’s Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) ceremony held at the Country Club in Newlands, Harare, after walking away with three prizes.

Ishan, who hogged the limelight with his hit song Kure last year, scooped the Best Male Artiste of the Year, the Best Newcomer and the Best Afro-pop Musician awards.

“This is my first time receiving an award and I am so grateful to my family who have been supportive since day one. I’m really happy and grateful to Zima for giving me this recognition and to my fans, thank you for the support,” said the ecstatic artiste.

Zima chief executive officer, Reason Sibanda, urged people and corporates to help develop music in the country.

“As we try to improve the Zima, we are open to criticism. I urge all corporates and people to come on board and let’s build Zimbabwean music together and grow in music,” he said.

Dancehall musician Freeman scooped the Best Video (Ngaibake), Album of the Year (Gango) and Best Zimdancehall Artiste gongs.

Freeman and Ishan also went head-to-head in the tussle for the Song of the Year award as their tracks Ngaibake and Kure battled for honours with Winky D’s Mugarden.

Although all the songs dominated throughout the year, Winky D scooped the gold after getting the highest number of public votes. The award came with a prize money of $10 000 which was sponsored by Cash Box.

Artistes who picked up awards included Gemma Griffiths, Mambo Dhuterere, DJ Stavo, Janet Manyowa, Takura, Blaqs and Andy Muridzo.

The late Chiwoniso Maraire and Simon Chimbetu posthumously won the Zimbabwe Icon Retro Artiste Award while Andy Brown clinched the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Several other artistes won awards in absentia.

It was a night of glitz and glamour as celebrities and music enthusiasts set fashion trends with their styles.

Jah Signal, Sulumani Chimbetu and Chengeto Brown were among those who provided entertainment. The awards bounced back this year after a four-year-long sabbatical.