READ: Zimbabwean Hip Hop Artist Awa Khiwe’s Biography
Awakhiwe Sibanda, better known as Awa Khiwe is a Hip-hop artist from Nkayi,Zimbabwe. She grew up in Nkayi and Makokoba,Bulawayo. She started making music in 2012 in Zimbabwe. Awa Khiwe is known for pioneering a unique sound, a fusion of Hip Hop and her Ndebele culture. Dressed in her beautiful traditional costumes, she uniquely raps in her mother tongue Ndebele, which has a lot of click sounds. Her fast paced, energetic Ndebele and English rap tackles issues like Gender-Based Violence, child marriages, politics and many more.
According to a BBC article, “she is using hip-hop to improve human rights”. She is a charismatic storyteller, a versatile artist who can shapeshift into any genre with her powerful sound. Awa Khiwe is nicknamed “The Village Girl” because she is unapologetic about her rural background and her culture. Her versatility and passion was also influenced by her childhood in her urban home in Makokoba, the oldest township in Bulawayo. Noisey Raps published a documentary about Awa Khiwe (Zimbabwe’s Rap Queen) which won The Best Inspirational Film Award at the R.I.F.A in the U.K. The documentary was also nominated for a Women’s Rights in Africa Award. In Place of War started working with Awa Khiwe in Makokoba doing tours in Zimbabwe and the U.K.
Awa Khiwe is a member of the fierce all-female band(GRRRL) which perfomed at the closing ceremony of the ok Games in Australia. The band has also had successful tours in the U.K and Europe. After winning the Best Female Hip Hop Artist award in Zimbabwe in 2016, Awa Khiwe moved to Germany where she was signed by Outhere records, she has also perfomed in Germany, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Switzerland and Netherlands.
Awa Khiwe has travelled to many countries sharing her music and her culture but her music is still deeply rooted in Zimbabwe. She won the Outstanding Hip Hop Artist Award at the Bulawayo Arts Awards and the Best Diaspora Award at the Zim Hip Hop Awards. She has been nominated at the Star FM awards and the NAMA awards. She is currently working with Producer Ghanaian Stallion and Outhere Records on an E.P titled Queen Energy and her debut album.