Shoko Festival is Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival and has become the country’s biggest festival of urban culture. Over the years Shoko Festival has grown to be one of the most anticipated festivals in the country. The festival is a dynamic space of free expression, cutting edge urban culture and rocking good times!
Shoko has pioneered in featuring leading local and international urban acts spanning 3 continents such as such as Cassper Nyovest (SA), Tol A$$ Mo (SA), Tony Rebel (JA), Rodney P (UK), Junior Brown (Zim), Tumi Morake (SA), Chiwoniso Maraire (Zim) and many more.
The overall objective of Shoko Festival is to create an artistic platform that contributes to the free expression and artistic development of young people in Zimbabwe. Shoko has created opportunities for Zimbabwean artists leading to international tours in the UK, Germany, South Africa, Senegal and Botswana. Shoko Festival won Promoter of The Year 2012 & 2013 at the Zim Hip Hop Awards. Shoko Festival 2016 saw over 10,000 people attending the three day event. Shoko is a space where the crowd can plug in and come alive through the electrically charged performances, the innovative discussions and the inspired atmosphere of festival life.
Music and Dance
A great way to experience urban culture is through music and dance. From hip hop, dancehall, reggae, to contemporary afro fusion, any flavour of urban music can be seen at Shoko. Crossing, towns, borders and oceans, musicians and dancers from near, far and a wide have come together and showcased their amazing talent, from electrifying solo performances to stunning collaborations between the local and international acts. At Shoko we celebrate cutting edge art that challenges, provokes and makes you move at the same time!
One of the most inspiring art forms displayed at Shoko is always the spoken word segment. Poets from across the continent have dazzled the crowds with their profundity and slammed their deepest thoughts!
Stand Up Comedy
With the rise of Pan African Comedy, Shoko celebrates this movement on its ever popular comedy programming. We feature comedians who challenge the norm and joke about the status quo. From established comedy stars to the next big thing our comedy programme is always guaranteed to get you roaring with laughter!
As the world moves full steam ahead into the digital age, Shoko Festival caters to the need for tech knowledge and digital skills through a series of programming known as the Hub Unconference. This is where you wanna be if you’re a digital activist!
In 2014 Shoko Festival introduced a new green segment called Upcycling as part of the programming. With pollution as a constant threat to the spaces people occupy, a great way to make communities aware of the ravages of said pollution, is to help them see litter in a different way. Instead of something to be discarded anywhere on the ground, if the litter can then be turned into something of value, commercial or sentimental, then it can be a positive step towards reducing the carbon footprint in those communities. So yeah we turn trash into art! And it looks sick!
Peace in the Hood
The Peace in The Hood is always one of our favourites. On the last day of Shoko we move the entire festival and take it to the townships! Think big crowds, sunny days, good vibes and an inspired closing day to the festival. International and local stars mingle with young kids from the townships as the main stage pulsates with riveting hip hop, dancehall and dance. This is an epic way to end your festival experience!
TAKE IT TO THE SCHOOLS!
In 2015 Shoko Festival began a partnership with Let Them Schools Festival where high school children who performed at Let Them had the opportunity to perform at Shoko as well. This year the partnership will expand to include more performances and workshops at the festival so that more young Zimbabweans get the chance to grab a mic and share their message!