International acts to perform at Shoko

HARARE - German-Nigerian hip-hop/soul singer Nneka Lucia Egbuna and South Africa’s leading stand-up comedian Loyiso Gola are part of a high-profile cast of international stars who will perform at the Shoko Festival in September.

The popular pair will be joined at one of Zimbabwe’s leading festivals by United Kingdom House band, The Layabouts, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion Buddy Wakefield (USA) and The Late Night News interviewer Chester Missing.

But, it is the return of the Nigeria-born Nneka, who performed at the 2011 Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa), that is likely to generate the most excitement.

The 33-year-old hip-hop/soul artiste, who sings in Igbo and English, has released five albums that have won rave reviews in Hamburg, Germany where she is based and beyond.

The other highlight of this year’s Shoko Festival, which will be held at Alex Sports Club in Harare’s Milton Park area from September 25 to 28, will be without doubt Loyiso Gola, host of Late Night News (LNN) on eNCA who will be accompanied by his equally-hilarious sidekick Chester Missing.

The two South African jesters have a big following in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is well-represented at this year’s fourth edition of the Shoko Festival by several top entertainers. Zimbabwe’s rising folk singer Netsayi Chigwendere, who performed at the same festival last year, has been roped in again this year.

Netsayi, who will perform at the “Celebrate Brooklyn” Concert in New York tomorrow, will jointly fly the Zimbabwean flag at the Shoko Festival with the explosive Ammara Brown, celebrated hip- hop star Tehn Diamond, Ba Shupi, Jason Leroux, and Rax & Raydizz.

Shoko Festival, arguably Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international arts festival, is produced by Magamba Network.

The festival is meant to showcase the very best in local urban culture, music, comedy, poetry, DJ parties, talks, new media discussions, workshops as well as regional and international acts.

The main sponsor of this year’s edition of Shoko is the Embassy of Sweden.

The other partners of the festival are the Culture Fund as well as the partnership of Hivos and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

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