By Mthabisi Tshuma
Zimbabwe’s top urban culture festival, Shoko Festival is set to be streamed live from Bulawayo and Harare and as usual is running for seven days from September 21.
Now in its 10th edition, the event which has traditionally been held in Harare, will be held under the theme:
“The Phoenix Edition” and will feature performances from Poptain, Jah Master, Ray Vines, Natasha Muz, Anita Jaxson and Pro Beatz among many others.
In a statement, Shoko Festival director, Comrade Fatso said: “This year’s edition will feature a completely digital implementation which will see live sets being streamed from Harare and Bulawayo.
“Shoko 2020 will feature performances from popular urban acts including Poptain, Jah Master, Ray Vines, Natasha Muz, Anita Jaxson, Pro Beatz, and many more local acts. The festival will also release the name of its surprise international act soon.”
Comrade Fatso added that this year’s edition will see a mixture of new and old formats as they optimise the experience for the streaming audience on Facebook and other online platforms.
“Digital attendees should expect amazing live performances from events such as Peace In The Hood, Mash Ups Night, The Bang Bang Comedy Show, a Digital Poetry Slam, a Top Comedian Battle and Digital Media Week which will be hosted by The Hub Conference.
“As Shoko Festival, we’re all about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and what can be performed. Because of Covid-19, we’ve had to pivot our programming and this has challenged us to come up with a brand new virtual programme of cutting edge curated events, brand new musical collaborations, daring comedy game shows and an inspiring digital conference too,” said Comrade Fatso.
Shoko Festival production manager, Tongai Makawa aka Outspoken said the event’s line-up will be a diffusion of art genres.
“We’re proud that even in these trying times, Shoko Festival is able to be one of the few cultural platforms where up-and-coming and talented poets can perform alongside the biggest acts in the country.
“Also, the fact that the same festival can host some of the best comedians and rappers while also running a cutting edge week-long conference that engages our political leaders on critical issues, is amazing,” said Makawa.
Over the years, the festival which is one of the longest-running urban culture festivals, has provided a platform for young Zimbabwean rappers, comedians, musicians and spoken word artists to perform, collaborate and express themselves.
The festival also curates cutting edge collaborations between local and international acts and builds international tours for young Zimbabwean artistes. The Chronicle