'State of hiphop' the main agenda at inaugural Zim Hiphop Summit



by tawanda ngena


Whether you are a hiphop head, artist, promoter, producer or you are someone that feels like they have something to contribute towards local hiphop then this September the 30th if you are in the capital, find your way to the inaugural Zim Hiphop Summit.
Organised by Jibilika and Shoko festival, the groundbreaking one day event is set to bring together stakeholders from across the board and rouse dialogue on the state of local hiphop.
"The Zim Hiphop Summit is a one-day convention that seeks to bring together artists and other stakeholders to share knowledge, have a dialogue on the state of the hiphop culture and industry in the country (Africa and the world), explore challenges and come up with possible solutions.
"The Zim Hiphop Summit is about building bridges on a myriad of levels. The conference aims to bring local and some international hiphop players to exchange information and explore ways of ensuring growth and sustainability", said organiser, Plot Mhako.

Among the list of proposed topics for the Summit are issues such as lyricism, conflict, free expression and the business of Hiphop (production of music & videos, marketing, distribution in a digital world).
According to Mhako, the panelists / speakers for the Summit will be drawn from strategically selected local panelists, African hiphop heads and international hiphop activists as well. The event's targeted audience will comprise of the artists themselves, producers, managers, promoters, media – (online and print) and the Government through the Ministry of Arts, NACZ, ZIMURA and Censorship Board.
""Hiphop remains the biggest urban culture globally and Zimbabwe is part of that village. It has been growing steadily since the 80s but has been plagued by a plethora of challenges that continue to draw back a real 'take off' for the culture into a commercially viable, social and politically impacting movement.
"It is against this background that we seek to bring heads together to create conversations that can translate into practice. This is not about individualism or about personalities but the bigger picture. It is my hope that the efforts will not be in vain until indigenous Zimbabwean hiphop takes off", said Mhako.

The hiphop promoter-cum journalist acknowledged the efforts and the team of minds that brought the summit to life while at the same time confirming that the summit will be an annual event.
"After years of research, travel, interactions, work on the scene, I teamed up with two young people who share the same passion, zeal and hunger to see hiphop in Zimbabwe grow. Awa Khiwe, a hiphop artist/poet based in Germany together with Darryl Nyamutsamba a hiphop activist/journalist / editor of the SA Hiphop Magazine and rapper based in South Africa to come up with the first ever Zim Hiphop Summit, a soon to be annual conference set for September that will gather stakeholders, players and enthusiasts to dialogue, engage, collaborate, build an ecosystem and a viable industry", he said.

For years, debate has centered on and around why local hiphop remains stagnant and Mhako feels that now is the time to not only take this discussion to a more formal setting but also profer solutions.
"Despite producing a lot of hip hop greats from artists, producers, videographers, composers, marketers, promoters, media, designers etc who have contributed immensely to some of the internationally renowned hiphop projects, the sad truth is that the local industry has been in 'intensive care' for a while now.
"Hiphop continues to suffer stunted growth and the Zimbabwean footprint on the global scene exists but remains obscured for many reasons that we will need more time to examine and what better way to do that than through the Summit?", said Mhako.



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