ZIMA 2020 To Feature Most Downloaded Song Award & New Judging System

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

For the first time in the Zimbabwe Music Award’s (rough) history, the 2020 awards will feature an award that represents artists impact on the internet. The most downloaded award will be part of the ZIMA’s return early next year.

The Award ceremony last held in 2016, is expected to make a comeback early next year and at a press conference that saw the new CEO of ZIMA – Reason Sibanda- take the media through the 32 award categories which will be dished out on the 25th of January – 3 months from now.

We asked Mr Sibanda to further explain how the most downloaded song will be picked considering that Zimbabweans download music from illegal sites and also stream from legal sites blurring the lines of how many times a song has been downloaded.

Mr Sibanda said that a rulebook coming out on the 11th of November will further explain how this category will work, so we will update on this issue once we’ve taken a look at the rules.

Another interesting aspect on the tech side of things regarding ZIMA 2020 is the promise of a new Electronic Judging System:

Eligible ZIMA entries are forwarded to the judges who adjudicate using the zima electronic judging system, in accordance with defined guidelines and by applying the assessment criteria for each category. the ZIMA Electronic Judging System is configured with a weighting criterion for each category, which is not visible to the judges. The weighting criterion is pre-determined by the members of various steering committees and it contributes to the final ranking of the judges’ choices in each category

Reason Sibanda – ZIMA CEO


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  1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    Why the secrecy around the weighting process? It’s yet another way to rig the votes in favour of preferred artistes. There shouldn’t a committee steering such criteria, because the committee essentially becomes voters themselves.

    Suppose it leaks that most of the judges ranked Enzo Ishall highly and he doesn’t win. ZIMA will claim the weights of the categories he scored high in did not bear much weight.

    Basically, they’ve drafted their defense before hand.

    1. Farai Mudzingwa

      We will see once November 11 comes around and the rulebook is released giving much more clarity

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