BY WINSTONE ANTONIO / SINDISO DUBE
The Shoko Festival, the country’s biggest jubilee of urban culture, came to life yesterday under the theme: Shoko universe.
It turns virtually. Bulawayo’s biggest arts and culture festival, Intwasa, kicks off today as the city also hosts the 2021 Zimbabwe International Fair.
The showbiz arena will be alive this week as the country’s two top festivals, Shoko and Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo, take place in Harare and Bulawayo respectively, until Saturday.
This is a first for Bulawayo to host such great events at the same time as the arts meet business.
Intwasa, which will be held both physically and virtually, will start with the Monetize the arts through social media workshop at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo and the Filmmaking Masterclass (physical events).
The official opening show will take place in the evening (6:00 p.m.) at the Bulawayo Theater with an array of performers including singer Bulawayo Mimmie Tarukwana, Thandy Dhlana, dancehall singer Tocky Vibes, rapper Tashamiswa, Voltz JT, Jungle Locco , Gze and Lady Bee, among others.
Intwasa Festival spokesperson Nkululeko Nkala promised an educational celebration.
âWe are ready for this year’s edition in the midst of COVID-19, we will have our hybrid, this is the new normal and we have to embrace the changing times,â he said.
Shoko Festival director Farai âComrade Fatsoâ Munroe said the festival would be a celebration of diversity.
âCOVID-19 and the lockdowns challenged us to be more creative as festival organizers.
âIn response to the times we live in, this year we invite the public to be part of the virtual Shoko universe,” he said.
âIt’s essential that we continue to find ways to organize events creatively so that we can support our artists and inspire our audiences with crazy new settings and powerful art. We will take our audience through the journey of our collective imagination in a gritty urban culture, explosive music, crazy sets and unprecedented collaborations. “
Comrade Fatso said that they have partnered with the Dutch Embassy in Harare to present a cutting edge speaking program.
âThis year’s edition will feature a unique collaboration between the Netherlands and Zimbabwe for its spoken word program as well as an innovative spoken word journey. The Lost – Course of speech is set for Tuesday (today) â, he said.
“In an unprecedented creative collaboration between eminent Dutch artist Smita James and great Zimbabwean poet Shaldo, who will collaborate on combined themes that will explore a world of violence against women, climate degradation and growing authoritarianism while they talk about hope and social justice. “
He said the performance would lead to a presentation of Lost – A journey of spoken words, which will feature several prominent local poets including Thando, Yanta Limie, Munyaradzi Bopoto, Kuda Rice and Banshee on the current political and economic situation in Zimbabwe – presented in extremely creative ways. Over the years, Shoko Festival has become a platform for hundreds of young rappers, comedians, musicians and spoken word artists to perform, collaborate and express themselves through their diverse artistic talents.
The festival also organizes cutting-edge collaborations between local and international artists and organizes international tours for young local artists.
The tribal house-Djembe Monks trio, who will perform at both festivals as has become tradition, said fans should expect a steamy, energetic and witty performance.
At the Shoko festival, the Djembe monks will perform at the Mash-Up Night and then perform at the Intwasa closing show on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. with the show being broadcast live on the Intwasa Arts Festival. Youtube and Facebook canals.
âBass shakes, mind-altering vocals and high vibrations are what we promise people at both festivals,â Emmanuel Roots Nkomo of Djembe Monks.
âThe fact that we are at both festivals is a good thing. It’s an amazing time to be alive right now.
One of the highlights of the festival is The African Convention on Satire Thursday, which brings together satirists from across the continent, including Ugandan poet and human rights activist Stella Nyanzi, who said she was delighted to share her writing experiences.
political satire on the Ugandan dictatorship.
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