With love from Nkayi to the world!
She has featured and performed in numerous world-acclaimed festivals including Freedom Festival Hull, Festival Number 6 and Shambala but her latest achievement, to feature at the Reeperbahn Festival International, was a high note in Awakhiwe “Awa” Sibanda’s musical career.
The Reeperbahn Festival ran from 31 May to 3 June.
Awa was one of the headlining acts for this year’s edition representing women in hip-hop, sharing the stage with big boys in the game including Tems (Nigeria), Kelvyn Colt (Nigeria/German descendant) and Yugen Blakrok from South Africa.
As the festival started in the month of May, this gave Awa motivation as she is also “too” spiritual during this month in which Africa Day is marked.
It’s not a secret Awa’s personality is self-effacing, maybe it’s because of her humble background as she hails from Nkayi District in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe.
Anything is possible despite where one comes from, and Awa is a living testimony of that.
She is humbled to have been part of the Reeperbahn Festival International.
“I have graced and performed at big festivals in the world. I can say, however, this one (Reeperbahn Festival) means a lot to me because in a way I feel like it has introduced me to the African music market.
“As a Zimbabwean artiste based in Germany (Europe), it was my dream to find channels and proper platforms to market my music in my mother continent.
“South Africa is one country fond of my heart because there are similarities in my language and culture with a number of ethnic groups in that country,” said Awa.
Sharing the stage with Yugen Blakrok also known as the “South African Hip Hop revelation of the moment,” already has given Awa a stepping stone in penetrating the South African music market.
“I am in contact with a number of South African musicians (including Blakrok) and I am looking forward to doing collaborations with Mzansi’s big acts. I know something good will come out at the end of the day,” said Awa.
Awa started doing music in 2012.
She turned professional in 2014.
Her first big performance with a large crowd was at the Shoko Festival in Harare (2014).
IN 2016, cinematographer and documentary producer Noisey Raps captured Awa’s life in a documentary titled Awa: Ghetto Queen from Zimbabwe.
The documentary unpacked Awa’s upbringing in the high-density suburb of Makokoba in Bulawayo.
The masterpiece of a reality tale would win the inspiration accolade at the Research in Film Awards (Rifa) in the UK, the same year.
With seven years as a professional rapper, Awa is ready to release her debut album.