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Spoken word extravaganza in town

The festival will feature local and international artists and will run from September 21 to 24. It will include a conference involving local artists as well as invited international artists from eight different countries.

Hosted by Zimbabwe’s leading spoken word and hip hop organisation, Magamba, the festival will take place at various locations across Harare, including Book Café and The Mannenberg with the Alliance Française as the main festival hub.

Magamba was founded by Farai “Comrade Fatso” Monro and Tongai “Outspoken” Makawa and the festival seeks to promote urban arts while empowering youths with artistic skills as it would also feature workshops, seminars and roundtable discussions.

More than 50 performances and 30 workshops will make up the festival.

“Shoko will be something cutting edge, unique and off the chain,” said festival director Comrade Fatso.

“We aim to make it Africa’s leading poetry and hip-hop festival as we create a space where we will have powerful concerts, great vibes and rocking talks. A space for people to network, educate and, most importantly, have a damn good time.”

Magamba will be bringing in poets from across the continent and from Europe. In partnership with Pamberi Trust there will be an international poetry slam at The Mannenberg featuring poets from seven countries.

Headlining the festival on the outdoor stage at the main festival venue, Alliance Française will be the UK hip-hop sensation, Akala, courtesy of the British Council.

Over the last two years Kingslee “Akala” Daley has emerged from London’s hip-hop underground as one of the leaders of a new British artistic renaissance.

In 2006 Akala won the Best Hip- Hop Mobo award for his debut album It’s Not A Rumour. He has tirelessly taken his acclaimed live shows not only across his country, but as far afield as Nigeria and Vietnam, where he has staged shows.

Another big act will be South Africa’s premier hip-hop band, Tumi and the Volume, a popular and innovative musical act from Johannesburg known for combining Jazz and hip-hop with complex and highly politicised lyrics.

Drawing heavily on the legacy of apartheid, as well as the realities of life in today’s South Africa, The Volume has quickly become one of that country’s most eclectic music acts.

The group performed at the Quart Festival in Norway, alongside major acts like The Roots and Coldplay.

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