A brainchild of Nkululeko Innocent Dube, the group started as a drama initiative at Mpopoma High School in Bulawayo. Dube left his job as an English and Ndebele teacher at Mpopoma High School and Northlea High schools respectively and decided to go full time into the arts. This is when he decided to form IYASA, a professional platform for young people involved in the arts.
Iyasa is an acronym for Inkululeko Yabastha School of Arts which is loosely translated Freedom for Young People school of Arts. It was established in 2001 to support and promote the best interests of young musicians, dancers, actors and poets. The group's infamy has jumped across borders and has become a household name in the country. Iyasa has raises the Zimbabwe flag high through their performances on the international scene. The group has toured many countries include U.S.A, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Czech Republic, South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Malawi, Slovakia, and U.K, Japan, Mexico, Montenegro, Italy, Lichtenstein and Croatia among others. In 2013 the dance group released their eighth studio album 'Afrika Alive'. The album carries 18 tracks sung in Ndebele, English and German and a bit of Czech. From the album two videos 'S'jaiva Sibancane' and 'Yini Ndaba' were released.
- To provide a platform for upcoming artistes to establish themselves in the arts market/industry.
- To employ youths gainfully through the arts.
- To train artistes and thereby produce complete, disciplined and skilled artistes.
- To come up with programmes that develop arts within schools,communities locally ,regionally and internationally.
- Organise exchange programmes,training programmes,collarborations with individual,groups,theatres, organisations across the world for the benefit artistes involved.
- Create productions that address issues that affect artistes,affect the youth and thrive to address them.
- Encourage and foster arts for young people and by young people.
The group has made numerous plays, some of which won them awards. They include China K, ,Elephant moon, Sisonke and Sleep well, Sweet Moon. The latter was nominated for the Belgian Young Audiences Musical Awards (Yama) in 2013. Iyasa was the only African group nominated for the awards. among other finalists from Belgium, Brazil, Canada Denmark, France and the Netherlands.
Apart from being an internationally acclaimed group, Iyasa continue to break new ground on the international scene. In 2013, three of the group members, Noma Mkwananzi, Silethemba Magonya and Pepsie Magonya appeared on billboards in New York.
- 3 times winners of NAMA AWARD best dance group. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time winners of NAMA AWARD video of the year. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time winners of the NAMA AWARD people's choice dance group. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time winners of the ZIMA AWARD best dance group. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time winners of the ZIMA AWARD video of the year. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time winners of the NESCAFE Youth project of the year. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time producers of both NAMA best female and male dancers of the year. (ZIMBABWE)
- 1 time winners of the international ambassadors award (Czech Republic).
- 1 time winners of the TBA best production award. (SERBIA)
- 1 time winners of the audience's best performer's award. (SERBIA)
- Iyasa, About IYASA, Iyasa, Published: ND Retrieved: 16 Apr 2015
- IYASA release Afrika Live videos, New Zimbabwe, Published: 20 Mar 2014, Retrieved: 16 Apr 2014
- Iyasa nominated for prestigious award, The Herald, Published: 6 September 2013, Retrieved: 16 Apr 2014
- Iyasa appears on New York billboards, Bulawayo 24, Published: 13 Dec 2013, Retrieved: 16 Apr 2014