Banda Kakana
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Banda Kakana

maputo, Maputo, Mozambique | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | INDIE

maputo, Maputo, Mozambique | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2004
Band World Afropop




"Revista Indico-#23-JanuaryFevereiro2014"

Kakana steps forward: Guitar in the hand, poem in the heart, voice of gold “A beautiful voice, sending shivers down my spine”, reacts one spectator after hearing the first stanza of the song “Sweet”, which begins the show
of the group Kakana, with Yolanda as the lead singer. It’s the second part of the show that she shares with another of today’s sensations, the singer Isabel Novela. The show is running, in late 2013, at the Franco-Mozambican Cultural Centre, an establishment which is an obligatory part of Maputo’s road map.
The public, which fills the hall, falls momentarily into a collective silence, and, little by little, it begins imitating the singer “sweet, your lips are sweet, sweet like honey, so sweet when you kiss me, so nice when you kiss my lips”. There is no greater proof of the popularity of the number she has just sung. Yolanda, her face joyful and intriguingly calm, continues her pageant with “Pokito”, a song which promotes Mozambique as a tourist destination, with the inevitable references to the beaches of Bazaruto
and Ponta de Ouro.
The two songs are from the disc “Serenata”, the first in the history of the Kakana Group, and entirely sung by Yolanda. This function makes her the central figure of the group, which she helped create in 2004, after she had had been a member ofthe juvenile rock band “Optimistas” and after she was discovered, in 2000, on the “Fantasia” talent spotting programme on Mozambique Television (TVM). Her entry into the group which would
become Kakana was via Azarias Arone, a guitarist who took the pseudonym Jim Gwaza. Jim is the son of Arone Samussone, the keyboard player and composer who led Hokolokwé, one of the main Mozambican bands of the 1980s.
The duo gave the group the name Kakana, inspired by a bitter creeping plant, used in Mozambican cuisine, particularly in the south. Cooked with groundnuts and coconut, Kakana is a treat, but it is also known for its medicinal properties. “We wanted a typically Mozambican name that would be easy to remember”, says Yolanda. Members of the Kakana group are: Sacre (bass), Figas (keyboards), Quinzinho (drums) Iva, Gina and Loide (vocals). Among others, Zé Pires (keyboards), Carlos Gove (bass), Muzila (saxophone) and Jorge Domingos
(guitar) took part in recording the disc.
Once they had set up Kakana, Jim and Yolanda, who had meanwhile got married, drew up a trajectory to follow. “We began to play on the main stages of Maputo, in places such as the Africa Bar, the Gil Vicente Xima and the Arts Nucleus, to gain experience”, recalls Jim Gwaza, who grew up listening to African music, jazz and rock. Yolanda, who does not hide the influence of Chico Antonio, João Cabaço, José Barata, Seal and Sting, adds: “I am who I am thanks to those musical evenings, which I call Operation Triumph”.
The disc “Serenata” was recorded ten years after the foundation of the group. In its 15 songs, most of them original, features of rock, soul, gospel, bossa nova and afro stand out. “I sing particularly about love and solutions for peace, because the more time passes it seems that we are living in evil and as a singer I have a role to play in this (...) hence on one of the verses of the song “Perfect planet” I sing that the planet is perfect, but people are not perfect”.
Singing in Ronga, English and Portuguese, Yolanda also explores the religious theme, with appeals to loving one’s neighbour. This question is also present in the song “Mufolhe” about the dilemma of a migrant worker who, after many years in South Africa, decides to return to Mozambique, because “nostalgia for the country overcomes everything else, there is no money that buys love and friendship”.
The launch of the album confirms the popularity of the group which has already won national prizes, notably Ngoma Mocambique and the Mozambique Music Awards. But for Yolanda this renews a challenge “to go on making music of high quality, to set out to conquer the world, and to make our music heard outside. In the midst of all this, I can’t manage to be a star. I want to continue being what I’ve always been, and to walk at ease”.
For the fans, what counts is indeed to maintain this simplicity so that more voices chant “here I am, with
a guitar in my hand and a poem in my heart”. - Mozambique AirLine


Serenata- 2013



Together with Azarias Arone, Yolanda is a founding member of Kakana, a leading representative of a new generation of Mozambican bands after Ghorwane, Eyuphuro and Orquestra Marrabenta Star of Mozambique. 

Once they had set up Kakana, Jim and Yolanda, drew up a trajectory to follow. We began to play on the main stages of Maputo, in places such as the Africa Bar, the Gil Vicente Xima and the Arts Nucleus, to gain experience, recalls Jim Gwaza. Then years after the group Kakana recorded Serenata.            

Jim Gwaza - Lead Guitar

Yolanda Kakana- Lead Vocal

Fanuel Macuacua- Bass

Figueiredo Zita- Keyboard

Joaquim Eurico- Drums

Raimundo Julié ”o- Keyboard