By Daniel Chigundu
SHOKO Festival which is arguably Zimbabwe’s biggest and longest-running urban culture festival will this year be celebrating peace in the hood.
The festival is scheduled for the 28th to 30th of September and will be taking place at multiple venues that include the REPS Theatre (28th), Harare City Library grounds (29th) and Unit L Community Hall Grounds in Chitungwiza (30th).
Events for Shoko Festival include a Comedy night, Hub Unconference, Mash Up nights, Zim Hip Hop Summit and Peace in the hood which is the main event and usually attracts up to 5000 people.
Addressing the media, Shoko Festival director Samm Farai Monro popularly known as Comrade Fatso said the event is going ahead and that they have been given the go-ahead by relevant authorities in light of the cholera outbreak that claimed 49 lives.
“We are happy to be hosting this press conference today you realise these have been trying times for the entertainment sector in Zimbabwe in general, we are happy to be announcing that the Shoko Festival will be going ahead.
“And we have been liaising with the relevant authorities from ZRP to the National Arts Council to the Ministry of Health and through to the city council health department to make sure the event is able to proceed and to guarantee the health and safety of our audience.
“We are much heightened as time moves forward and we are happy that the cholera outbreak appears to have been contained with the daily number of patients dropping massively so we are very happy to announce that we will be moving ahead having got the necessary clearance from Harare and Chitungwiza,” he said.
The theme festival for 2018 is “Peace in the Hood and Comrade Fatso said, “it’s very much about the tough year we have had using arts and entertainment to bring us together and celebrate together”.
Meanwhile, Hub Unconference organiser Munyaradzi Dodo popularly known as “Munya Bloggo” said the conference which will happen over two days will be focused on content in line with the increased usage of mobile phones for citizen journalism in Zimbabwe.
“The Hub Unconference happens on the Friday and Saturday and this year it’s mainly focused on content as you are aware cell phones are now the in-thing so that’s the topic we will be mainly touching on.
“So this year it’s going to be themed “Content Central” and I think this year’s program is centred on new media that rose up over the elections and how we can chart the way forward and monetise those platforms.
“This year’s main speaker is Zimbabwe’s export to Aljazeera Raheela Mahomed,” he said.