MEMBERS of Siyaya Arts Ensemble — Zimbabwe’s most travelled performing outfit — were last Saturday robbed of nearly $2 500 in cash and gadgets while performing at a private function in Harare.
Ironically, the mishap befell the Bulawayo-based ensemble after they had drammatically snubbed the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) prize-giving ceremony.
The group administrator Thulani “Javas” Sibanda yesterday narrated the ordeal to Southern Eye Lifestyle saying the group was still trying to come to terms with the loss of cash and multimedia gadgets valued at $2 417 and travel documents.
“While we were performing someone walked unnoticed and took away my bag that had my laptop, external hard drive, a passport belonging to one of the artistes, $1 164 and a cellphone,” a distressed Sibanda said.
He said the matter was reported at Highlands Police Base in Harare and he hoped the culprit will be brought to book.
Sibanda said although the group managed to return to Bulawayo, the misfortune had affected preparations for their upcoming international tour.
“The group is back in Bulawayo and we are frantically trying to resolve the matter of the lost passport. In fact, we were lucky because we could have lost five passports, but fortunately we had not collected them before this event.
“We are preparing for an international tour and we look forward to resolving the matter before the departure date. We will have to apply for an emergency passport which costs about $300,” he said.
Highlands police, where the incident was reported, were not immediately available for comment yesterday.
Siyaya is one the country’s high-riding arts ensembles which has performed at several international festivals and other arts fiestas.
The ensemble has performed at more than 50 theatre venues in different countries and has participated in 11 special events as well as collaborated in producing plays with seven theatre companies in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Germany and England.