By Naledi Sande
Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) scooped an award for Best Music in the production “Mein Bauenhof” (My Farm House) at the Austrian Stells awards held on Friday.
Director of Iyasa Nkululeko Dube said he was elated by the accolade, which was affirmation of the group’s hard work.
Nkulukelo wrote the music on “My Farm House”, a concept by Austrian Stephan Rabl.
The production premiered in Vienna, Austria March this year and it portrays the differences and similarities of children growing up in a farm house in Europe and in Africa.
“We have worked in Austria for the past 13 years and have produced theatre productions with different theatre houses so this award was for this year’s production,” said Nkululeko.
Iyasa met Stephan Rabl from Austria through whom Iyasa got their first international invitation to perform at the Shakespeare Festival in Linz Austria.
Since then their relationship with Austria grew and each year they performed in Austria doing their own performances, and collaborations with theatre houses.
The Stella awards are the national theatre awards in Austria, similar to our very own National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) without the rest of the arts sector.
The awards celebrate outstanding artists and organisations that champion cultural change.
The Bulawayo ensemble performed the music on the “My Farm House”.
The group has won other international awards such as the Tipa award in Serbia which they won five years ago.
“We have established ourselves in music and theatre and we are very impressed,” said Nkululeko.
The group, popularly known for dance in Zimbabwe has broken into theatre and music internationally rather than locally.
Iyasa is Zimbabwe’s multi-award winning performing arts school for youths established in 2001 to support and promote the best interests of young musicians, dancers, actors and poets.
Iyasa was born out of a successful Mpopoma High School drama club in the city of Bulawayo.
It has since expanded to be a resource centre for most established and upcoming artistes, especially musicians, singers and dancers.
Iyasa is an abbreviation for Inkululeko Yabatsha School Of Arts which translates to Freedom for Young People School of Arts.
It has given birth to singer and dancer Sandra Ndebele and now Austrian-based comedian Future Sibanda.Nkululeko encourages other theatre groups to persevere as their time to shine will surely come.
“Look for collaborations with other countries in order to penetrate into the global scene,” he said. The Herald