When we thought we have had enough of South African (SA) acts who have been flocking to Zimbabwe every other week, the annual Shoko Festival has one more on offer.
For this second half of the year alone, Harare has hosted Oskido, Nasty C and Shekhinah, with Zahara playing at Pakare Paye a week ago.
This weekend we have Busiswa staging a show in the city while Casper Nyovest returns to Glamis Arena, this time in the company of Prince Kaybee on September 22.
A week later, Shoko Festival will bring another gem from south of the Limpopo, Moonchild Salley (real name Seneziwe Sanelly) who sings what she calls Future Ghetto Punk.
Pencilled for September 28 to 30, the festival has over the years been favouring SA as their hunting ground bringing in headline acts including Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, aka and Emtee in music.
In comedy Donavan Goliath, Loyiso Gola, John Vlismas and Kagiso Lediga among others have performed at the festival.
As opposed to her predecessors who staged at the festival’s mainstage, usually in the city centre, Moonchild Salley will be staging at the heart of the ghetto, sharing her talent in Chitungwiza.
“Her outrageous style and dynamic stage work combine to ensure that her live show will leave the Shoko Festival wanting more.
“Moonchild will do a taster show at the Harare City Library Grounds on Saturday September 29 before headlining the Peace in The Hood gig in Chitungwiza on Sunday September 30,” reads a media release from festival organisers.
Though great on stage, the high influx of South African acts in a region with many artistes indicates lack of creative scouting from local music promoters.
Shoko Festival has however, tried to strike a balance, announcing local artistes, SA based stand-up comedian Farhan Esat and Bulawayo rapper Asaph as the two other headline acts.
Esat will headline the comedy night to be held at Reps Theatre on September 28 while fast rising rapper Asaph will represent Zim Hip Hop performing at the Harare City Library grounds on September 29 and in Chitungwiza’s Unit L suburb the next day.
Speaking on the headline acts Shoko Festival director Samm “Cde Fatso” Monroe said this year’s festival pushes the boundaries of free expression.
“This year we want to make Shoko about showcasing the dope, the alternative and the cutting edge in urban art.
“We’re all about growing urban culture and pushing the boundaries of free expression. With the beautiful insanity of Moonchild Sanelly, the rising voice of Asaph and the challenging humour of Farhan Esat, I think we’ve got the right headliners to make this happen,” he said.
Moonchild Sanelly has been performing for over twelve years, singing in a hybrid of Xhosa and English. She is a pioneer of the growing gqom (mixture of house and kwaito) music scene. Some of her hits include Rabubi, F-Boyz, and Weh Mameh.
Great as her music may be, promoters should in the future considers other top urban artistes from around the continent.
Shoko is an urban culture festival. Over the years the festival has provided a platform for comedians, musicians and spoken word artists to perform.