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Awa's love for hip-hop influenced by Ndebele praise poetry

Zim rap queen tells how she found her voice and defied stereotypes

Raised in a religious family where hip-hop was associated with violence, drugs and social deviance didn’t deter Awa from pursuing her dream of being an internationally recognised female rap artist from the continent.

Born Awakhiwe Sibanda in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, her stage name is also an acronym for African Women Arise. It’s apt for an artist who is also known as Zimbabwe’s Rap Queen and an artist who is championing women’s rights through her brand of the genre delivered in her native Ndebele and English. ..

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