MASVINGO Music and Arts Awards return next month after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic that brought the creative sector to its knees.

The awards, which seek to reward excellence in the arts in Masvingo province, are scheduled to be held on September 30 at Masvingo Sports Club.

In an interview, the awards organiser Pride Masekesa said it would be a double celebration as they would also be enjoying their eighth anniversary having held their inaugural edition in 2014.

These awards are hosted by P&P Global Brands, a company owned by Pride and Proud Masekesa and sponsored by the Masvingo business community.

“This year’s edition of the awards is going to be the biggest red-carpet event in the province with full-fledged stage performances by various artistes,” he said, further indicating that they were still appealing for more sponsorship and partnerships to make the event bigger and better.“The awards are mainly for artistes from Masvingo province. They can be either staying in Masvingo or outside, but as long as they originally come from the province they qualify,” he explained.

Preparations are in motion after calling for art material submissions at P&P Global Brands headquarters in Masvingo, either in audio or video form.

The organisers are in negotiations with Afropop singer Gary Mapanzure and stand-up comedian Doc Vikela to be part of the awards.“This year we are also going to honour the newly-elected Zimbabwe Union of Journalists President George Maponga for his contribution to the development and promotion of the arts and media industry in Masvingo province. The awards are a sign that we do celebrate our own diverse talents,” Masekesa added.

Some of the awards’ previous winners include film producer Sydney Taivavashe, the late music icons Leornard Dembo and Paul Matavire, and Mapanzure, among others.