Iyasa up for international award



INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed Bulawayo arts group Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) and Julia Meinx have been nominated for the Stella Awards in Australia, in the Outstanding Music category in their co-production Radio Freedom with Theatre Ansicht and Next Liberty Graz.

The Stella19 Awards nomination comes after the globetrotting dance group scooped three gongs last month at the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA).

The Stella awards celebrate outstanding artists and organisations who champion cultural change across the globe and are named after one of Australia’s iconic
female authors, Stella Maria Sarah “Miles” Franklin.

“It’s always an honour for your work to be recognised especially internationally and away from home. We are grateful that Austria sees value in our work and
thankful to our partners Theatre Ansicht and Next Liberty. We also appreciate my co-producer in music, Julia Meinx,” Nkululeko Dube, Iyasa director, said.

Dube said this was a confirmation that Zimbabwe, and Bulawayo in particular, has immense talent.

“It rubber-stamps what l have always said; Bulawayo has talent. As Zimbabweans, we have what it takes. We have a rich culture and lots of creative minds that
can match international standards on any day and platform,” he said.

“This one is for all young artists in Zimbabwe. I know it’s only a nomination for now, but that alone is a big statement. Awards are there to celebrate our
work, but we remain focused on our mandate, which is to train, groom and provide opportunities and act as a resource centre for upcoming and young artists.
This serves to rejuvenate us in our efforts.”

Dube said they were nominated in the same category in 2016 and went on to win the award for another co-production with Dschungelwien Theaterhaus in Vienna.

He said it was particularly pleasing that the Stella19 nomination and RoilBAA awards come at a time when the arts group is celebrating two decades in the

“There is no better way to celebrate our two decades in the arts. This is amazing, especially coming after the RoilBAA, where all our nominations reaped are
awards. It’s a milestone. We appreciate all the pioneers of Iyasa, those that have believed in this dream and hope this marks the beginning of another legacy,
going forward,” he said.

“I prefer humility over pomposity because this is not a one-man project. Our community, our artists, our partners locally and internationally, have kept faith
in us.”