GLOBE-TROTTING dance group Iyasa walked away as the biggest winners at the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards after scooping three gongs on Saturday night in Bulawayo.
BY SINDISO DUBE
Iyasa was nominated in three categories — Outstanding Female Dancer, Outstanding Male Dancer and Group of the Year, which they all won. They dedicated the gongs to their late member, Sonia “Soso” Mbayi, who died recently.
Lethokuhle Ncube walked away as the Outstanding Female Dancer, with Newman Takawira being crowned Outstanding Male Dancer of the Year.
“It has been a good year for us. We had three nominations and out of them, we got them all. These awards have endorsed our continued efforts to promote upcoming talent. I would also like to thank Lethokuhle and Newman for representing us well, including the whole Iyasa team for the overall award,” said Nkululeko Dube, the Iyasa director.
“We dedicate this award to our late vibrant member, Sonia, who passed away recently because her dream lives on through Iyasa. It’s been two decades in the industry, and we shall live on and stay in the game through hard work and consistency. With everyone’s support, we will stay in the industry.”
Soso, who was laid to rest at Luveve cemetery last month, died at the age of 33 at Mpilo Central Hospital after suffering a severe asthma attack.
Her career started off at Iyasa in 2002 alongside Nkwali and Sandra Ndebele, before she moved to Siyaya Arts in 2009 and featured on the hit-song, Zambezi Express.
Dubbed Bulawayo’s biggest dress-up event, the awards were held at the ZITF Hall 4, having sold out the two editions at the Large City Hall. The venue was, however, not filled to capacity this year.
Supermodel Samantha Tshuma and comedian Nceku were this year’s hosts, while television personality Nyasha “Diva” Mtangarira handled the red carpet with Emma Nxumalo.
Novuyo Seagirl won song of the year for her hit single AEIOU. The pint sized singer also won song of the year going at the Skyz Metro FM music awards in December, while she won the best house award artiste earlier this year.
Seagirl capped her gong with a well choreographed performance of the song, backed by Vocal Ex, before accepting her award which she dedicated to her family.
Knowledge Nkiwane won the outstanding gospel music award. Calvin was named the Outstanding Male Artiste of the Year. Bulawayo’s first commercial radio, Skyz Metro FM, also continued with its dominance, making it three gongs in a row, winning the outstanding mainstream media award.
Meanwhile, dance group Anti Virus almost spoiled the night for revellers. Visibly intoxicated, the group put up a disappointing performance. Instead of showing what they were capable of doing, as well as show why they were selected to be a part of the awards, they tried all they could to teach revellers “new” dance styles, but the audience would have none of it. Eventually, they were booed off stage.