Book Cafe


Rastafari interestingly is one of the most well documented cultural phenomena to have emerged in the last century. Interestingly though, this documentation is not by us; it’s not by West Indians. The experts so to speak on Rastafari reside in Washington, Haig, UK; there is even a Rastafari expert on Rastafarian music in Japan, a woman called Yashiko Shibata who did her work the 80’s; quite a while back and in a sense I and I, Afrikans, black people, Jamaicans, Caribbean persons have been slow in really looking deeply at his movement and trying to interpret and explain it.

Comrade Fatso introduces Shoko Festival

Comrade Fatso  at the Shoko Press conference

The art form that has grown in Zimbabwe while many others have suffered has been poetry and spoken word which actually, the spoken word movement did not really exist here until the early 2000s. And our idea is it not just being about poetry and not just about hip hop but about all facets of urban culture that are progressive. So that’s why you will see we've got, we will have the social media reporting going on, tweeting, blogging about the festival in real time.

Slamming with Aura

AuraThePoet at Shoko festival

POVO: I am here with Aura at the Crowne Plaza for POVO, Aura how are you doing?
AURA: I am great thanks.

POVO: Can you give us a brief background about Aura?
AURA: I was born Aura, which is also my stage name. Born and bred in Harare, Gweru, I did my upper six at Johannesburg’s British International College before proceeding to the AFDA film school. I come from a small family of two children and am now the bread winner in my family.

The genesis of Edith WeUtonga!

Edith weUtonga

It is no wonder that Edith we Utonga is one of few musicians in very high demand in Zimbabwe today. A female bass player, a band leader at that, is harder to come by than a female Mbira player was in the times of Stella Chiweshe. What Edith does to that instrument is enough to seduce the rain gods as we saw at he HIFA performance on the Global Stage when at the end of her performance the heavens cracked open and drenched an audience that would still not leave the stands until the last fat string had been plucked, slapped, popped, tapped, thumped or picked.

The rise of Elsa Q

Elsa Q

TT: Can you start by introducing yourself?
EQ: My name is Elsa Kamsoda. I am a Poet / Musician and released my first album in 2009 called Stand up tall. This was followed by a project called Wotoshinga (fight hard) released early this year. My third project is a departure from my other two albums and is exclusively poetic. I perform mainly at the Book Café where I am part of the sisters open mic session.

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