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SA talent for Shoko fest

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South African award-winning poet and songstress Nomsa Mazwai is set to perform at this year’s Shoko Spoken Word Festival which will run from September 18 to 23.

The festival will be hosted by Magamba Cultural Activist Network in Harare.

The talented With You hit maker, last year won a South Africa Music Award for Best Adult Alternative African Music for her debut album Nomisupasta.

Mazwai is from Eastern Cape, South Africa, but is currently studying for a Masters of Arts in Economics at Fordham University in New York City.

“The line-up is shaping up as the festival is drawing nearer and a colourful array of local and international poets, rappers, singers, bands, comedians and DJs have already confirmed their attendance,” said Magamba Network projects manager Tongai Makawa.

Running under the theme “Take over the Town”, the festival would also see Batswana acclaimed poet Mandisa Mabuthoe, who received a standing ovation last year, performing once again.

Makawa said UK-based reggae artist Alexander Akiloe Philip Modiano, popularly known as Natty, who has played alongside Damien Marley and Adele, among other well-known artists, would also be there to treat reggae lovers to some conscious vibes.

“Also on the line-up, coming from the US, is Mic Crenshaw, a powerful poet and rapper, who has shared the stage with the likes of the Wu Tang Clan, Dead Prez and The Fugees,” Makawa said.

Zimbabwe’s own talented groups will also perform during the festival and these include the legendary, Chiwoniso Maraire, Tehn Diamond — one of Zimbabwe’s most promising hip-hop artists — and Ba Shupi, urban grooves artist of the moment.

Monkey Nuts, a new Zimbabwean hip-hop group that had an outstanding performance at the inaugural Shoko Festival, as well as the Harare International Festival of the Arts, was also billed to perform together with Emcee Synik, who recently finished working on his latest album Syn City.

“Harare’s DJs Rax and Raydizz will be there to play party music till late and to perform at the comedy night which will see Carl Joshua Ncube and Clive Chigubu, who have promised to leave the audiences in stitches,” Makawa said.

He said there would be a live show of Zambezi News, the hit theatrical comedy sketch which was recently launched and is making waves in Zimbabwe and abroad.

The festival week will see performances in different venues across Harare including the festival hub, Alliance Française which will be transformed into a vibrant festive venue with a main stage, a youth stage as well as bars, urban clothing stalls and food stalls.

Live events will also be happening at the Book Café, Gallery Delta, Red Bar and Main Stage in Glen Norah. Running over six days, Shoko will feature live concerts, a comedy night, DJ parties, an international poetry slam, photo exhibitions, workshops, debates and much more.

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