CELEBRATED Bulawayo group Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) is in the running for an international award for its musical Sleep Well Sweet Moon, targeted at children.
The production, a collaboration with an Austrian group, would be up against nine other entries from countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and France for the Young Audiences Musical Award (Yama).
Iyasa director Nkululeko Dube said the nomination was a vote of confidence in Bulawayo’s arts industry.
“Basically this is our first production for children below the age of two,” he said on Friday.
“It is a musical based on Zimbabwean lullabies and physical theatre and because of its unique concept it has been nominated for Yama.
“If it receives the highest number of votes, it will be presented with the coveted award in Belgium next year and will also be performed at the grand stage.”
The production was directed by Dube, a former teacher at Mpopoma High School before he founded Iyasa, and Austrian arts director Stephan Rabl.
“It’s a huge honour for us and our country especially at a time when I felt it was time for us to create productions that suit the age groups we want to address,” Dube said.
“This production is for two-year-olds and below. When we took it on with my co-director Stephan Rabl from Vienna , I had mixed feelings on the outcome, but over the past three years it has become so popular with parents and it’s ‘baby’ audiences.
“I think it is unique and that is why it finds itself nominated for such a prestigious award. I believe we will go to Belgium to scoop it!
“We have done our part, now Zimbabweans and all those who believe in Iyasa just need to endorse it by voting us on the Facebook page.
“To be honest, it’s a great and satisfying feeling to be recognised for our efforts, let alone internationally.”
The deadline for voting is October 31.
You can vote for Iyasa on the following link: http://www.yama-award.com/#!vote-2013/czrl