Siyaya Arts

Siyaya Arts is a Zimbabwean music group that was founded in 1989 in one of Bulawayo’s oldest suburbs Makokoba. Its establishment was influenced by the traditional tales, music and dance that characterise the city of Bulawayo. The group has toured Europe and Africa and has gained a good reputation mainly for using social issues in its music. It is Zimbabwe's premier multi-media performance arts company producing and performing music, dance and theatre performances across the world. Siyaya; Nomakanjani.


Siyaya formed in 1989 and were originally known as Nostalgic Actors and Singers Alliance (NASA). They started with 5 members and were led by Mike Sobiko. The members of the group have changed a lot over time, with many former members going on to other, similar projects. The line-up now consists of 13 members under the leadership of Saimon Mambazo Phiri. On their 10th anniversary they changed their name to Siyaya (meaning 'on the move').

Festivals Attended

Some of the festivals they have attended since 1993 include Aberdeen International Youth Festival (Scotland), Towersey Festival (England), Glastonbury Festival (England), Pontardawe Festival (Wales), Waterford Spraoi (Ireland), WOMAD Reading Festival (England), Malopo Festival (Pretoria, South Africa), Edinburgh International Fringe Festival (Scotland), Market Theatre Community Theatre Festival (S. Africa), Ross On Wye International Festival (Wales), Scena Church & Theatre Festival (Hanover Germany), Panafest Historic Theatre Festival (Cape Coast, Ghana), Streets Ahead Festival Manchester (England), Sidmouth International Folk Festival (England), Earagail Arts Festival (Ireland) and many others.


  • Yebo! Yes! (2000)
  • Kokoba Town (2002)
  • Futhi Njalo (2009)
  • Zambezi Express (2012)


The group received the MTN: UK (Musical Theatre Matters) 2010 Awards, Judges' Discretionary Award, at the Edinburgh Festival for the Zambezi Express award. The theatre dance group is specialised in dance, theatre and also implements the Ibumba International Festival.[1]

It was a night to remember for Bulawayo's dance and drama group Siyaya Arts on 19 February 2011 when they dominated the dance category scooping two awards; Outstanding Male Dancer(Makhula Moyo) and Outstanding Dance Group at the 10th edition of the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) held over the weekend.[2]


  1. [1], Zimbarts, Accessed: 25 June, 2020
  2. [2], Bulawayo 24 News, Published: 20 February, 2011, Accessed: 25 June, 2020