The ceremony was initially supposed to take place last December but was postponed, God knows why, but at least it took place at the Cresta Golf view Hotel last Friday.

Who attended? Well, a number of prominent people from the arts industry that included Justice minister Given Lubinda. By the way feel free to call him Zayelo, he doesn’t take offence. Joining him were fellow patron former South Korean Ambassador Mumba Kapumba, ZAM president Njoya Tembo and NAC Chairperson Patrick Samwimbila.

That’s not all, the ceremony was graced by minister of tourism and arts Charles Banda who said the awards would foster excellence and professionalism in the creative industry.

“This initiative signifies a major step in the recognition of artistic excellence, talent and prowess. Awards ceremonies are a proven avenue to foster excellence and professionalism in the creative industry”.

“Government recognises the importance that the creative industry plays towards unifying the country, creating jobs and economic development. This is evidenced by government’s attachment of the arts to tourism as a way of providing artists with an economic future,” said Banda.

Given a chance, I would have asked the minister why we don’t get alternating musicians on all Presidential trips, if indeed government is committed to promoting Zambia’s creative industry to the world. But I suppose there is no space on the plane, there is only enough space for the President’s spare shoes and toothbrush perhaps.

But at least, the National Association for Theatre Arts in Zambia was happy; and on behalf of the association, Boyd Chibale thanked the government for “creating policies that have allowed the arts to thrive in the country”. He also said 17 Groups participated actively in the year 2017.

Some of the winners included; Violet Sakala from The Native for Best Cameo, Eric Kasomo Jr for Best Director, Samaria Musanka from Saints and Sinners for Best Supporting Actress and Maureen Banda from Wife and The Maid for Best Actress.