THE main stage at this year’s Shoko Festival, which begins tonight in Harare, has been named after late mbira star Chiwoniso Maraire to acknowledge her contribution to the arts industry.
The Chiwoniso Maraire Main Stage situated at Water Whirld will host most of the festival’s artistes including international acts from Jamaican reggae musician Tony Rebel, Tanzania’s Mzungu Kichaa, Kuli Chana of South Africa, German group Symbz Sound to Ian Kamau from Canada.
The artistes perform at the stage on different days from tomorrow to Saturday.
Traditionally, the festival names its stages after fallen artistes and other notable stages are Yvonne Vera Amphitheatre, Dambudzo Marechera Circle, Julius Chingono Stage and King Pinn Stage.
Festival spokesperson Tafadzwa Sharaunga said they named the main stage after Maraire in memory of her great work in the arts industry.
Maraire died in July this year.
Sharaunga said the festival would present exciting music, spoken word and comedy shows.
“Tuesday September 17 (tonight) will see the launch of the third Shoko Festival edition themed We The People.
“Shoko (Festival) is the fastest growing urban culture showcase in Zimbabwe,” Sharaunga said.
Tomorrow, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, there will be the Shoko Talk at the Book Café on women in new media.
After that all roads will lead to Water Whirld for the biggest comedy night of the year featuring Tumi Morake and Kagiso Lediga from South Africa, who will be accompanied by Zimbabwe’s Carl Joshua Ncube, Clive Chigubhu and Simba the Comic King, with a special appearance from the hit comedy series Zambezi News TV.
On Thursday, will be the Hub Lab and new media training in the morning at the Yvonne Vera Amphitheatre located at Gallery Delta.
Later that night a spoken word fiesta explodes to life with the Breaking Barriers Poetry Slam at the Book Café featuring Kamau (Canada), Ewok (SA), Afurakan (SA) and many more regional and local poets.
Friday morning will start on a new media tip with the Hub Unconference, a meeting of leaders in new media and technology on a regional level.
The evening will be furnished with the Rising Concert at Water Whirld starting at 7pm till late.
This will see a montage of local and international acts headlined by Tony Rebel (Jamaica).
Saturday morning will kick off with workshops at Water Whirld’s Dambudzo Marechera Circle, while the afternoon will see the Mashoko spoken word event taking place at the Julius Chingono Stage from 3pm-6pm.
It would be followed by Sunset, a calm, collected, soulful mix of music and poetry from 6pm to 7pm.
The climax of the night will be the Shutdown concert, a mix of mbira, hip-hop and dubstep with the cherry on top being the DJs after-party.
The concert will feature the likes of DJs Rax and Raydizz.
Chana, Hope Masike, Monkey Nuts, Ewok, Symbiz Sound, Dhadza D and Synik will also perform on the night.
On Sunday, the festival presents the enormous Peace In Da Hood Concert in the high-density suburb of Glen Norah B, where all regional and international acts head for the final massive
mash-up on the closing of the six days of entertainment.
“Shoko is Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival and has established itself as a major event on Zimbabwe’s annual arts calendar.
“The festival would this year involve over 250 artistes and bring together acts from three continents,” Sharaunga said.
“Shoko Festival is an initiative of Magamba Network, one of the country’s leading urban culture organisations.
“It builds on the cutting-edge fundamentals of culture, activism and new media.”