The popular Shoko Festival, one of the country's fastest-growing international festivals, begins tomorrow. The show which is in its seventh year running is billed to take place under the theme "YOUtopia". It will run for three days and will see local acts sharing the stage with invited international stars.
Among the performers and presenters are Tariro neGitare, Jam Signal, Soul Jah Love, Calvin, ExQ and award winning South African hip hop artiste, Emtee, Stunner, Tehn Diamond, Gemma Griffiths, DJ Mox (Star FM), Lady K (The Fixxx, ZiFM), ZIMURA director Polisile Ncube, Keisha Thompson (UK), Rafael Tudesco (Brasil), Mambila Mageza, South African comedian Mpho Popps and DJ Yoda from the United Kingdoms.
The festival takes place at the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences. In an interview, festival organiser Chenge Nyagweta said all is set for the major event and tickets have started selling.
"All is set for the festival as everything is in place. All the artistes billed to perform have confirmed their presence during the festival and some have started arriving," she said. Nyagweta said an array of entertaining activities is lined up, including music performances, workshops, children's activities and comedy.
"We have a lot of activities that will entertain people during the festival. Some of them include markets, installations, workshops, comedy and music performances," she said
Major highlights include the inaugural Zim Hip Hop Summit. The summit, held in partnership with Jibilika, aims to create and discuss pertinent issues about Zimbabwe's hip-hop industry. The summit will be facilitated by Plot Mhako and is meant to create conversations with artistes that can translate into practice.
"The summit will take place during the festival and will be made up of carefully curated panel discussions focusing on different key areas of the hip-hop industry," Mhako said.
He said each panel will have highly knowledgeable panellists that will share their expertise on the given topics. He said the summit will help in the development of the artist first before the genre.
"The state of hip-hop in Zimbabwe is somewhat stagnant. Although we consistently see artists putting on showcases, people booking studio time and even an annual Hip-Hop awards show, there is often not much to show in terms of return or recognition," he said.