Awa Khiwe Biography|Real Name, Background, Music Career, BBC Feature, Documentary, Commonwealth Performance, Awards, Arrest
Awa Khiwe is a renowned Zimbabwean Hip-Hop rapper. Awa Khiwe’s pioneering spirit and powerful blend of hip-hop and Ndebele culture have positioned her as one of the most influential female hip-hop artists in Zimbabwe.
She grew up in Nkayi and Makokoba in Bulawayo, where she developed a deep connection with her Ndebele culture. Nicknamed “The Village Girl,” Awa Khiwe proudly represents her rural background and cultural heritage. Her childhood experiences in Makokoba, the oldest township in Bulawayo, have deeply influenced her versatility and passion for storytelling through music.
Aside from her music career, Awa Khiwe pursued education and studied social work at the University of South Africa, showcasing her commitment to making a positive impact on and off the stage.
Music Career: Pioneering a Unique Sound
Awa Khiwe’s journey in the music industry began in 2012 in Zimbabwe. Embracing her Ndebele heritage, she pioneered a distinctive sound, fusing hip-hop with her mother tongue Ndebele, characterized by its rich click sounds. Her fast-paced and energetic rap addresses critical social issues, including Gender-Based Violence, child marriages, and political matters, making her a compelling voice for change.
Her versatile and passionate performances have earned her recognition as one of the most influential female hip-hop artists in Zimbabwe. Beyond her musical achievements, Awa Khiwe is also recognized for using her platform to advocate for human rights. Her music has been described as a medium for addressing social issues and promoting positive change.
Global Impact and Collaborations
In 2015, Awa Khiwe’s talent caught the eye of Georg Milz from Outhere Records during a trip to Zimbabwe. Impressed by her performance, he invited her to Germany for the first time. In 2016, Awa Khiwe moved to Germany and signed with Outhere Records. Since then, Awa Khiwe has been a frequent visitor to Europe, collaborating with Outhere Records on various projects and taking her unique sound to stages across Germany, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
BBC Feature and Documentary Recognition
Awa Khiwe’s talent and passion for music have garnered international attention, including a feature in a BBC article that highlighted her use of hip-hop as a tool for advocating human rights. Furthermore, her impactful 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 part of the fierce all-female band “GRRRL,” which made a powerful 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 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.
Additionally, she has been nominated for awards at the Star FM awards and the NAMA awards, further cementing her status as a rising star
Beyond her musical achievements, Awa Khiwe is also recognized for using her platform to advocate for human rights. Her music has been described as a medium for addressing social issues and promoting positive change. 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.