HipHop Awards founder not amused

According to theological studies, the number seven entails “completeness and perfection”, but for Zim Hip-hop Awards (ZHHA) organisers, negative criticism and accusations of nepotism is what they have to stomach as each edition passes.

December 9 marked the seventh edition held in Bulawayo for the first time since the ZHHA’s inception in 2011, but for Adrian “Beefy” Harrison, it simply means another year with the same old problems.

“I think what keeps us going is our focus and target to build because all is coming along despite the criticism because when something happens, not all people are happy,” said Harrison.

When nominees are called out a week before, there are already questions about the credibility of the nominations and prejudice blamed on the organisers.

For Beefy, this is not only counterproductive as it could hamper the attempt to grow hip-hop locally, but also painful given the sacrifice he puts in the build-up to each awards ceremony.

“It does hurt and at some point it got to me. I think it was three or so years ago where I almost quit as I asked myself why we are sacrificing money because this is something I fund personally apart from some help from friends,” he said.

“It is heart-breaking because sometimes you find it is artistes who try to pull the brand down but we are not backing down.”

However, against the odds, he said their intention to influence growth in the genre has not been derailed as he attempts to take the show nationwide after the Bulawayo debut in a bid to have established even greater milestones when they reach a decade anniversary.

“I have always wanted to do this because hip-hop is big in Bulawayo, so it was always my goal to have the awards because it was about time,” he said.

“It was about time and after this, we will go to other major cities like Mutare because we need to stretch the culture and create a space for cultural exchange, which can start important collaborations for artists.”

While the awards have, according to Harrison, gained recognition within and outside the country, he insists there is need to turn such excellence into gains even for the artists.

Since their incetion, controversy has marred the ZHHA before, during and after the ceremony, with criticism coming, especially from those who would have lost out .