Zim Group Iyasa Takes On The World

The entertainment group which is based in the country,s second largest city of Bulawayo, kicks off its tour with performances in Austria and then other European countries such as Germany, the UK, Serbia, the Czech Republic and France.

“Our tour starts this week in Europe, where we will spend five months,” said the group,s artistic director and founder Nkululeko Dube.

The group will then tour China and Japan, and Mexico after that. “It is going to be a year-long tour. We will be performing at festivals, fringe shows and at times we will be working with Zimbabwean embassies abroad on a number of projects,” Dube said. Iyasa is taking 12 members on tour. “Ever since the global economic recession a few years back, arts have been affected. Arts groups had fewer shows abroad and had to take fewer members on tour because of costs,” added Dube, a former teacher in Bulawayo,s Mpopoma High School.

There were fewer jobs in the arts industry and fewer public programmes. Most Zimbabwean arts groups depend on foreign shows for financial survival in the form of tours and donor funding. With things improving, the team will be showcasing its 2011 production, Streets of Africa, with the show premiering in Vienna. “It is meant to show the world how things are done in the streets of African countries.

The streets of Bulawayo are not any different from the streets of Johannesburg, but they are different from those of London, Berlin and other European cities. Our show is an hourlong musical portraying the hustle and bustle of town life.”
The show will come to Zimbabwe after 12 months and then it will be taken to South Africa and Swaziland.Iyasa specialises in various performances that include Indlamu-the popular dance of the Zulu people, Isicathamiya, Gumboot dance and other cultural dances fussed with modern style music in addition to theatre performances.Their Zulu and gumboot dances have often mesmerised audiences overseas.