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Iyasa breaks new ground


HIGH-FLYING arts company Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) has released two videos from their latest studio album, Afrika Alive.

The album, their eighth offering, was recorded and produced at House of Rising Sound by Joe Maseko and Toisen Marirangombe in Bulawayo.

It was produced by Nkululeko Dube and was mastered at Doing Studios in Austria by Ben Kellner. It has 18 tracks sung in Ndebele, English and German and a bit of Czech.

Afrika Alive, was released internationally in August last year and since then the arts company has been working on producing videos for some of the popular songs.

Both videos are now available on the popular video-sharing website, YouTube.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com from his base in Austria, Nkululeko Dube, the director of the arts company, said it was a no brainer for them to choose to do videos for the songs S’jaiva Sibancane and Yini Ndaba.

“It’s the contrast that is interesting. The fact that one is a dance song and the other is a sober more serious theme song means a lot. The two videos give everyone a choice.

“Most people know Iyasa for dance and they will find that in S’jaiva Sibancane, but then in Yini Ndaba we explore the acting talent that we also develop,” he said.

S’jaiva Sibancane, an up-tempo and feel good song, will surely appeal to the old and young generations as it reminds them of the games and songs they used to sing during their childhood days.

Watch the video to S’jaiva Sibancane here:

“S’jaiva Sibancane was inspired by childhood memories.

“It is a cocktail of games, and songs most of today’s adults sung and played during their times as kids and we knew this would spark wild and sweet memories!

“Surely most people treasure their childhood memories, school days and the songs they sang at sport and other events back then.

“Interestingly the media in Europe always asked me why it was that most African people sing and dance so well and for me the logical explanation was that S’jaiva Sibancane, meaning it’s something we grow up with. We live and grow up in a culture of singing and dancing and we love it.”

On the other song, Dube said: “Yini Ndaba (Why) was more of an observation and outcry.

“Ever since the social network craze gripped Africa we have seen a lot of relationships and marriages breakdown as a direct result of infidelity fuelled by the abuse of applications like Facebook and WhatsApp among others.

“The truth is Social networks and lack of trust are on the rise. Yini Ndaba is a serious call on our society to respect marriage. If you still want to play games or you still are not sure about your partner or who you really love, stay away from the temple of marriage.”

S’jaiva Sibancane was choreographed by Dube and performed by Iyasa. It was recorded at Cement Site Primary School with the assistance of the school’s teachers and choreographer Richard Ndlovu.

Yini Ndaba was conceptualised and also directed by Dube. It was recorded at a city lodge in Bulawayo, while the wedding ceremony featuring Iyasa artistes was recorded at a local church.

On making the videos available for free on YouTube, Dube said it was marketing strategy to create visibility for their works.

“Sometimes it is important to be seen, to be known and to make people know that you are around,” he said.

“You will notice that we introduce in these videos a lot of our new artistes. We give them a chance to shine. It’s their time, they are our new generation and of course the videos are meant to market the album.

“YouTube is on the internet and it seems these days that is where everyone lives. If you want to be seen go to where the people are. Most people have no time to watch television these days so we thought we will take the videos to where they are and I am happy that the number of views rise every day.”

Meanwhile, the arts group has since arrived in Austria for their annual European tour and are currently in rehearsal for their new show, Amanzi, a co-production with Theatro Piccolo.

Their first show will be on March 26.

— New Zimbabwe

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