Held recently in the Indian Ocean archipelago, the event was made possible by Emerson Zanzibar Foundation and was graced by the Deputy Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports for Zanzibar, Khamis Abdalla Said. Hamza was among Zanzibar’s artists who took part in the contest.
Said el Gheithy, chairman of the foundation, told ‘The Guardian’ that the event was organised to complement festivals initiated by founder of Busara music festival and the Zanzibar International Film Festival, Emerson Skeens who died in 2014.
“More than 60 artists initially entered the award vying to be part of the exhibition and dreamed of winning the award of 2m/-, a stylish trophy, certificate and future support from the Foundation,” he said in a statement.
The recipient of the award, Hamza Ausiy, was cheered by his fellow artists when he was presented with the award with his painting named “Sokoni”.
The five picked judges, who are professionals in their areas of artistic excellence, agreed that ‘Sokoni’ was the winning artwork. The artwork adhered to the theme celebrating the culture and heritage of Zanzibar.
A close second winner was Abdul Haji Ussi, who was awarded a solo exhibition to be held this August in Zanzibar. Abdalla Issa and Jamal also received certificates of excellence for their artworks who took the third and fourth positions.
These awards supported by the Emerson Zanzibar hotels and Foundation has provided musicians, poets and filmmakers prestigious exposure to the region and the world.
It was decided in 2021 that, not only, a new award for local creative artists would be initiated; the Emerson on Hurumzi hotel would host and promote artists through an exhibition, called ‘All things Emerson Zanzibar’, of which 100 artworks from 35 artists were included.