HARARE – The Shoko Festival roars into life in less than two weeks’ time with the country’s biggest urban culture jubilee set to give local artists who were previously disenfranchised by the Covid-19 pandemic the chance to rejuvenate their careers.
The 12th edition of the Shoko Festival will take place from September 27 to October 1 with the theme “PARTYcipate”.
PARTYcipate is a rallying cry for young people to take part in public processes such as elections.
Prior to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and the eventual lifting of the curfew, local artists had been unable to perform and showcase their talents for two years.
Shoko Festival director, Samm Farai Monro affectionately known as Cde Fatso, said this year’s edition was calibrated to bring to the limelight, local artists who had been marginalised by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This year at Shoko, we want to celebrate our amazing local acts. We want to show that local is legit,” he said.
“During the two years of lockdowns and Covid-19 pandemic, our Zimbabwean artists were the ones who kept us entertained and motivated while we were stuck at home.
“At the same time, the local arts sector suffered massively due to a lack of live shows with venues being closed.
“So this year, all our headline acts are proudly Zimbabwean as we salute the power of our artists. So come through and PARTYcipate.”
Local artistes billed to perform during this edition of the festival include Zimdancehall star Freeman, Hip-hop sensation Voltz JT, and sassy Hip-hop queen, Kikky Badass.
Trap Sungura pioneer Tanto Wavie, Brian Jeck from Chegutu, and Bulawayo-based rapper Luminous are also among the local acts headlining the urban culture show.
The event will this year be run in a hybrid format with most performances physical while some will be online so as to accommodate audiences unable to attend physically.
The main festivities will take place at Moto Republik, with alternating events being hosted at venues spread across Harare and Chitungwiza.
Events lined up for this year also include: the Voice 2 Rep Watch Party, the exhilarating Women’s Cypher, Mash Up Night, and the comedy Roast of Temba Mliswa.
Regional acts that will feature in this year’s edition of the Shoko Festival include TMRS AwaGe from Mozambique and multi-creative DJ Lady Light from Zambia.