COMMENTARY

Zimbabwe To Finally Engage In A Hip Hop Dialogue

#ZimHipHop

Hip hop as it has come to be reckoned is a multi-billion dollar industry and the greatest international cultural phenomenon ever created.

It is the best trendsetting and brand-building community in the world and it transcends all racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds. Critically speaking, it is the way of life for the youths and young adults: the costumes, the talk, the walk, and everything else.

But as lucrative and social as it may seem, regardless of it being around for about three decades, the Hip-Hop culture hasn’t done much to impact the lives of people in Zimbabwe. The majority of it barely looks or sounds like a local culture. While in countries like South Africa they have found a way to incorporate it in the mainstream, in Zimbabwe it’s more like a sonic jackhammer that kills the good vibe every time it’s played. We have seen many artists getting booed off stage and even DJs debunked for playing Zimbabwean Hip-Hop music.

To make matters worse, its visuals are still eyesores to many potential fans and there is a general conceptual nuisance in most content.

Overtly speaking, the Zim Hip Hop industry is a hot mess and a roar of total chaos, and the worst part is nobody ever cared to talk about the predicaments making this highly-esteemed culture retrogressive. All that’s been there over the years are merely highly-opinionated individuals who claim to have the solutions to the genre’s myriad problems.

Now, having tried it all and dismally failed, eventually, the Zimbabwean Hip-Hop community felt a genuine need to engage in a dialogue that would work towards meeting its most important challenges.

The dialogue, proudly dubbed Zim Hip Hop Summit, was mooted by journalist and Jibilika Dance Trust founder  Plot Mhako, hip-hop activist and SA Hip Hop Magazine editor Darryl Nyamutsamba and Hip-Hop artist Awa Khiwe.

Slated to take place at the Harare City Library on September 30, the gathering will be graced by  South African rapper and businessman Siyabonga Metane AKA Slikour, Keisha Thompson (UK), Rafael Tudesco (Brasil), and Mambila Mageza (from In Place of War).

Other panelists includes Stunner, Cal_Vin, SharkyTehn Diamond, DJ Mox (Star FM), Lady K (The Fixx, ZiFM), award-winning videographer Blaqs, ZIMURA director  Polisile Ncube, Phil Chard (The African Hip Hop Blog), PD The Ghost, beatboxer Probeatz, Joel Gombera (Senior Manager – Group Marketing CBZ holdings), among others.

The panel discussion will spotlight on the state of Zimbabwean hip-hop, its business side and finally lyricism, conflict and free expression. It is our hope that this strategic alliance coupled with the clout of hip-hop industry from outside will give Zimhiphop the foundation to truly make a difference.

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