By Pride Anesu Muzarabani
Zimbabwe’s longest running festival of urban culture, Shoko Festival, announced its the headline acts for the 13th edition of the festival which is running under the theme “The Take Back”.
In a press statement Shoko Festival announced that the festival is set to run from the 28th to the 30th of September 2023 in Harare and Chitungwiza.
“This year’s edition will feature a star-studded line up of headline acts including the NAMA-award winning rapper Bling4, globetrotting Zimbabwean singer, Gemma Griffiths and the popular Afrobeats artist, Nutty O.
“Also headlining the festival is South Africa’s Xabiso Vili, the current World Poetry Slam Champion and Botswana’s multi award winning Afro pop artist, Jordan Moozy, ” reads the statement.
Shoko Festival statement noted that 2023 theme is a call to young Zimbabweans to reclaim their space in the arts sector. “The theme for Shoko Festival 2023 is #TheTakeBack. It’s a call for young Zimbabweans to reclaim their space and their art to create a better future for all,” reads the statement in part.
The festival will feature a variety of events, including the opening Mash Up night, the popular Shoko Comedy Roast, the Hub Unconference, and the Peace In The Hood Concert.
Festival Director Comrade Fasto said, “This year, we are giving the people an inspiring 3 days of powerful music, thought-provoking talks and riotous laughter.
“Join us to hear young people reclaim their voices and their art forms,” he said.
This year’s edition will feature an array of international acts who are set to thrill festival goers. Shoko will feature Xabiso Vili, a multi-award winning South African performer, writer, producer and social activist. “He is the 2022 World Poetry Slam Champion and is in the Mail & Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans.
One of the other regional acts to look forward to is Jordan Moozy, a multi-dimensional singer, songwriter and producer born in Botswana to Zimbabwean parents. Jordan has won two Yarona FM awards in 2021 and 2022 as the best RnB and best collaboration of the year,” reads part of the press statement. Moozy’s music is a layered, multilingual blend of R&B, Pop, Highlife and Hip Hop that is seeping with influences that span across borders and decades.
This year’s edition of Shoko Festival will kick off on Thursday 28th September at Moto Republik with Mash Up Night. The event will feature a variety of musical performances, including never-seen-before mashups of urban, traditional and electronic music genres. Curated by artist Thando Mlambo’s Dark Art Matter(s) collective, Mash Ups Night will take the audience on a sonic journey featuring the likes of rising hip hop star Noluntu J, the Maskandi duo Apiwe & Sobancane and electronic producer DJ Rori. As well as Xabiso Vili and Jordan Moozy.
The event will also host Women’s Cypher, a live performance by some thrilling female MCs including Young Gemini, Noluntu J & Banshee.
On Friday 29th September, REPS Theatre will host the hugely popular Shoko Roast which sold out last year when former Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa, was the Roastee.
This year’s Roast presented by Simuka Comedy is set to live up to its billing as it will feature the outspoken serial entrepreneur, Kuda Musasiwa on the hot seat. Also known as Begotten Sun, Kuda Musasiwa wears many hats including Farmer, Entrepreneur, Music Producer, Activist and Husband. Top comedian Doc Vikela will be the Roast Master, with the likes of R Peels, Candace Mwakalyelye and Ricky Fire as panelists.
The festival will close its curtains with Peace In The Hood, a day-long music event in Chitungwiza Unit L, on Saturday 30th September. Shoko’s main event will feature Bling 4, Gemma Griffiths and Nutty O for an electric shutdown of the festival. Also on the line up are Bagga, Mycole Biller & Hwinza amongst other acts.
Shoko Festival remains true to its values of providing a platform for both emerging and established artists.
The festival ensures alternative urban artists get to share the same stage with the biggest artists in the land.
Shoko Festival is a celebration of free expression, cutting edge urban art and alternative youth culture.
The festival is a project of Magamba Network, Africa’s trailblazing creative & digital media organisation.