After years of placidity, Harare came alive this year with protests, stay-aways and demonstrations taking place every other week. Now, more than ever, the word on the streets is to come alive.
This is just what premier urban culture fest, Shoko Festival hoped for Harare, and for their festival. Now in its sixth year, this year’s Shoko Festival theme ‘Come Alive’ urges Harare residents to channel their energy into a celebration of life. “The festival comes during a tough year for the country and this theme is a call on festival-goers to be inspired and enthralled by an amazing festival experience that brings Zimbabweans together,” said festival director Samm Monro.
“It speaks to the frenetic energy that is urban living, youth culture and the continual evolution of technology. Shoko is a space where the crowd can plug in and ‘Come Alive’ through the electrically charged performances, the innovative discussions and the inspired atmosphere of festival life,” he said.
Zim Dancehall legend Winky D is set to headline the festival, armed with hits from his latest album, Gafa Life, that has electrified stages across the country and beyond. A consummate performer, Winky D is sure not to disappoint, especially as he will no doubt play his BBC Radio number one smash hit, Disappear.
Winky D will share the stage with South African hip-hop star, AKA. AKA is undoubtedly the current reigning king of African hip hop and currently heating up the international music charts with his singles Dreamwork and One Time which debuted at number one on iTunes and continues to maintain dominance on the African and UK charts.
A third headline act is rising superstar Ammara Brown, who has been making a lot of noise with her smash hit single Mukoko, a collaboration with fellow musician Tytan. Her exceptional voice, lively act, and creative dance moves is something the audience can definitely look forward to.
Monro says this year’s Shoko festival is all about being present in the moment and truly living and enjoying the experience. “We are calling on Zimbabweans to come alive amidst the challenging times we live in. It’s a call for Zimbabweans to wake up, to live and to celebrate our great country.” he said. The festival also a whole host of comedy acts to look forward to as well as a media and tech Hub Unconference for journalists and activists to take part in the Harare City library.
Shoko Festival will be take place from 23 to 24 September in front of the Zimbabwe Museum of Human Sciences on Rotten Row in the CBD. Tickets for this venue will be available on site. The final concert, Peace in the Hood, will be held on 25 September in Chitungwiza and is free for all revelers.
Image: South African artists HHP performed at Shoko Festival 2015.