High street shoppers in Lincoln took time out from their schedule on Wednesday, May 4th to watch a group of African musicians and dancers.

Performing opposite St Benedict’s Square, Siyaya (meaning ‘on the move’) sang and danced along to their tracks, mostly from their 2009 album, Futhi Njalo. On top of that, the group covered well-known songs including the Bill Withers classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine,” as well as Tight Fit’s “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

The Zimbabwe-based group began in 1989 as NASA (Nostalgic Actors & Singers Alliance) with only five members which, over the next decade, grew to 13. The group commemorated their 10th anniversary by switching their name to Siyaya – “a literal description of [their] journeys all over the world, as well as of an identity, an ethos and a heartfelt belief.”

During the group’s history, they have performed at a range of venues, special events and festivals including Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, Live 8 and Glastonbury International Dance Festival.

Siyaya is part of the Sabela Music Projects – a “music and arts company aiming to identify, groom, produce, promote and manage upcoming and established artists, primarily from Africa and the rest of the world music circuit.”

Under this label comes The Sabela Foundation, which aims to “improve the social and economic welfare and creative skills within African communities by providing children with access to arts education, facilities and opportunities.”

Siyaya regularly perform on Lincoln’s High Street to raise money for The Sabela Foundation. For more information about Siyaya and their work, visit their official website.

Posted on: The Linc
Date: 9th May 2011