ORGANISERS of the Shoko Festival recently announced six local artistes as the festival’s ambassadors ahead of the festival to be held under expanded programmes from September 25 to September 28.
The six, who will be accompanied by four more artistes to be announced this week, are mbira player Hope Masike, Ammara Brown, hip-hop artiste Tehn Diamond, Ba Shupi, dancehall chanter Dhadza D and comedian Clive Chigubhu.
Speaking to NewsDay, the Festival’s media liaison officer, Tafadzwa Sharaunga said they wanted to appreciate artistes for their contribution to the arts industry by according them such diplomatic roles.
“The idea of having festival ambassadors is aligned with
our stance to appreciate what our artistes are doing for the growth of our arts sector.
“This initiative will see the artistes getting the opportunity to interact with different festival directors and ambassadors on cultural exchange programmes ahead of the festival,” Sharaunga said.
At last year’s edition of the festival, artistes’ efforts were appreciated by the festival organisers who named different performing stages after them.
These were the Julius Chingono Stage, Dambudzo Marechera Circle, Chiwoniso Maraire Main Stage and the Yvonne Vera Amphitheatre.
“As a way of building up for the festival, we are calling for people to become members of the Team Shoko that would get Team Shoko Loyalty Card which costs $5, but will offer various discounts and freebies for the lead events,” said Sharaunga.
According to Sharaunga, a lot of entertainment like live music, comedy, spoken word, dub-step among others have been line-up to spice the festival.
Shoko is proving to be Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival and has established itself as a major event on the country’s annual arts calendar.
The festival is a living experiment in urban culture, free expression and positive social change aimed at breaking down the barriers among media, culture and activism to create dialogue, progress and cutting edge new urban culture.
Last year’s festival was attended by a total of about 6 000 people.
Some of the artistes who performed at the festival included Jamaican artistes Tony Rebel, Symbiz from Germany and Khuli Chana from South Africa among others.
The festival included talks and workshops on New Media that welcomed participants from around the country and speakers from the continent