Awa Khiwe Biography
Awa Khiwe has established herself as a celebrated figure in the world of Zimbabwean Hip-Hop. Her innovative approach and the seamless fusion of hip-hop with the rich tapestry of Ndebele culture have firmly placed her at the forefront of influential female hip-hop artists within Zimbabwe.
Awa Khiwe, known as “The Village Girl,” hails from the rural areas of Nkayi and Makokoba in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Her deep connection with Ndebele culture and upbringing in the oldest township of Bulawayo, Makokoba, have deeply influenced her versatile and passionate storytelling through music. Besides her music career, she pursued social work education at the University of South Africa, emphasizing her commitment to making a positive impact on and off the stage.
Music Career: Pioneering a Unique Sound
In 2012, Awa Khiwe embarked on her journey in the music industry in Zimbabwe. Her distinctive sound blends hip-hop with the Ndebele language, featuring rich click sounds that make her music stand out. Her rap addresses critical social issues like Gender-Based Violence, child marriages, and politics, making her a compelling voice for change. Awa Khiwe’s energetic performances and her commitment to advocating for human rights have earned her recognition as one of Zimbabwe’s most influential female hip-hop artists.
Global Impact and Collaborations
In 2015, Awa Khiwe’s talent caught the attention of Georg Milz from Outhere Records during a trip to Zimbabwe. Impressed by her performance, he invited her to Germany. In 2016, Awa Khiwe moved to Germany and signed with Outhere Records. She has since collaborated on various projects, taking her unique sound to stages across Europe, including Germany, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
BBC Feature and Documentary Recognition
Awa Khiwe’s talent and passion for music have garnered international attention, leading to a feature in a BBC article that highlighted her use of hip-hop as a tool for advocating human rights. Her remarkable journey in the music industry was documented in a Noisey Raps documentary titled “Zimbabwe’s Rap Queen,” which earned The Inspiration Award at the R.I.F.A in the U.K.
Fierce Feminine Presence: “GRRRL” Performance at Commonwealth Games
Awa Khiwe is a part of the powerful all-female band “GRRRL,” which made a significant impact with their performance at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Through her involvement with the group, Awa Khiwe continues to champion the empowerment of women and raise awareness about social issues through music.
Awards and Recognitions
Awa Khiwe’s exceptional talent has earned her accolades and nominations within the music industry. Notably, she received the Outstanding Hip Hop Artist Award at the Bulawayo Arts Awards and the Best Diaspora Award at the Zim Hip Hop Awards. She has also been nominated for awards at the Star FM awards and the NAMA awards, further cementing her status as a rising star.
In addition to her musical achievements, Awa Khiwe is recognized for using her platform to advocate for human rights. In 2016, she made headlines when she was arrested for participating in a ThisFlag Movement protest in Makokoba. Despite the ordeal, she remained steadfast in her advocacy for change.