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Shoko Festival Returns, Focus On Reclaiming Youth Space

The 13th edition of Zimbabwe’s longest running festival of urban culture, Shoko Festival returns next week with focus on reclaiming space for the youth to showcase their art and create a better future.

The festival is set to run from the 28th to the 30th of September 2023 in Harare and Chitungwiza under the theme #TheTakeBack.

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.

“This year, we are giving the people an inspiring 3 days of powerful music, thought-provoking talks and riotous laughter,” says Festival Director, Comrade Fatso, “Join us to hear young people reclaim their voices and their art forms!”

“The theme for Shoko Festival 2023 is ‘The Take Back’. It’s a call for young Zimbabweans to reclaim their space and their art to create a better future for all.”

Shoko Festival is a celebration of free expression, cutting edge urban art and alternative youth culture.

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.

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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.

His upbringing and travels across Southern Africa have a major influence on his musical sound and worldview. 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. It will host The Women’s Cypher, a live performance by some thrilling female MCs including Young Gemini, Noluntu J & Banshee.

Mash Up Night 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. Xabiso Vili and Jordan Moozy will also feature at Mash Up Night.

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.

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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.

With top comedian Doc Vikela as the Roast Master and the likes of R Peels, Candace Mwakalyelye & Ricky Fire as panelists it looks set to be a hilarious evening.

As per tradition, 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.

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