Dancehall stars at Shoko Festival

HARARE - Dancehall fans will have a thrill at the Shoko Festival set for September 24-26 as Soul Jah Love, Shinsoman and Guspy Warrior lead the musical bill.

The three dancehall artistes will be part of the many artistes partaking in the festival which is in its fifth year running.

Shoko Festival media liaison officer Tafadzwa Sharaunga said dancehall is one of the many categories that people requested for.

“We have been engaging Zimdancehall in separate events as an organisation probably six years prior to this year’s Shoko Festival. We have worked with the likes of Dhadza over the years. Shoko 2014 was the most evident encounter with Guspy Warrior featuring on the main stage in collaboration with Ammara Brown.

“Shoko Festival is an urban culture showcase and we have always respected the role of dancehall culture in the urban sphere. So from the onset of our cultural work, we have embraced and worked with local dancehall acts,” he said.

The headline act will be South Africa’s award-winning musician, Cassper Nyovest.

Sharaunga said the artiste selection process also involved the general public.

“We held several audience panels from the beginning of the year, where we surfed for opinions on what different urban audiences are keen on. It was a move to incorporate people from all walks of life for this year’s edition of Shoko Festival.”

He added that they were aiming for the best and there is a surprise act to be announced in due course.

“Shoko Festival 2015 themed “Hear Your City” is going to be the best edition of the urban showcase. It will

deliver world-class entertainment at an affordable fee and central location. We will be announcing a special surprise for this year’s edition.”

The festival takes place in different parts of Harare and The Hub and conference will take place at the Harare City Library.

Other parts of the programme will take place at the Harare Museum and Chitungwiza.

Over the years, Shoko has pioneered in featuring leading international urban acts spanning three continents such as Tumi and The Volume (South Africa), Tony Rebel (Jamaica), Akala (United Kingdom), Symbiz Sound (Germany) and others.

Shoko focusses on urban culture, free expression and positive social change. According to the founders, it is about “breaking down the barriers between media, culture and activism to create dialogue, progress and cutting edge new urban culture.”


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