BY SHARON SIBINDI
IYASA director Nkululeko Innocent Dube has commended former group members like Sandra Ndebele and Silethemba Magonya, among others, for doing the group brand “proud”.
The group, which has been touring Europe since 2001, left the country for its annual tour last week, for Vienna, Austria, and will be back in August. They will then tour Germany and Czech Republic.
Iyasa has been one of the best arts schools in Zimbabwe having churned out artistes like Ndebele, among others.
Dube told Standard Style that he was proud of what the majority of the artistes had gone on to achieve as they were doing well.
“Iyasa is a school of arts. That means we have graduates who come out of our system from time to time to explore other projects and take on new avenues in life. I must say l am proud of what the majority of those have gone on to achieve. “We have the likes of Sandra Ndebele doing well with her music career. Nkwali is also a musician of repute,” Dube said.
“Silethemba Magonya is an international artiste, while Pepsi Magonya is in Australia running her own dance studio. “Future Sibanda is doing well in Austria and Roben Mlauzi started a drumming project in the Czech Republic. Recently Michelle Msopero, who is based in China, was nominated for Nama.”
Dube said the few mentioned among many others were doing the Iyasa brand proud.
“I have no complaints. When it comes to their private life, we have no control, but our artistes are always trained to be exemplary citizens and until now they have not disappointed us,” he said.
“We started touring overseas in 2001. Our maiden tour was to Seattle (in the United States) as Mpopoma High School and in 2002 we went to Austria and we have done so until to date, including other countries too.”
Dube also revealed that not all international tours Iyasa embarks on were commercial, as the group debunks the myth that once you go abroad you “automatically sweep money and riches off the streets of Europe”.
“ It’s a myth. which needs to be demystified that when artistes go abroad, automatically they will sweep money and riches off the streets of Europe and they earn what they earn that sustains them,” he said.
“We would not be doing this for the 19th year if it did not sustain our livelihoods. Projects we do in Europe are different and not all of them are for profit. Some are exchange programmes and others are certainly commercial.
“In these years of touring, I think we are richer in our artistic perspective. Many Zimbabweans know us for dance, but the broader world knows us for theatre too especially theatre for children and young people. We have become holistic in our approach to the arts. We have learnt a lot and we have created useful networks and relationships for not only ourselves as Iyasa, but our city and country,” he said.