Mokoomba

Mokoomba

 Harare, Harare Province, ZWE
BandWorldAlternative

Straight out of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: MOKOOMBA brings an electrified blend of raw Afro-fusion energy. This 6-piece band sings in Tonga, Lubale & Nyanja combing traditional & modern instruments into a distinctly Tonga sound with a dynamic west African flair. This is highly danceable stuff!

Biography

INTRODUCTION

 “Wild Tonga beats hit the Streets” 

Winner of the Music Crossroads Inter-regional Festival (IRF) in Lilongwe, Malawi in August 2008, MOKOOMBA brings audiences an electrifying blend of Afro-fusion and tantalizing traditional Tonga rhythms. The name MOKOOMBA stems from the deep respect that the Tonga people have for the Zambezi River and for the vibrant life that it brings to their music and culture. This exciting Tonga group from Zimbabwe certainly has a unique sound that is set to take the world music scene by storm! It is a six-piece band singing in Tonga (one of the lesser known languages and cultures of Zimbabwe) Luvale, Nyanja, Mbunda, Ndebele and Chokwe, fusing it with: keyboard, percussion and drums, bass guitar and a dynamic showcase of Tonga-made instruments like Jemba (drums), whistle and bell as well as an array of other indigenous instruments, making this some highly danceable stuff!...

BAND BIOGRAPHY

Mokoomba was formed in 2008 by the late Alfred Mjimba, a legendary Zimbabwean guitarist,  as a feeder to his band Koomboka. Following their victory at the Music Crossroads Inter-regional Festival in 2008,  Mokoomba recorded their first album titled Kweseka “Drifting Ahead” which was followed up by a tour Europe in 2009 (October-November). The  tour was a victory in itself for the band as it was only achieved after fighting a long visa battle and running a successful online petition dubbed ACCESS DENIED.  During their first tour band performed at the European Development Days awards ceremony and the EEN Make Poverty History Campaign launch concert among other concerts. On return Mokoomba went on a short regional tour playing in Mozambique and Zambia. 

In 2010 Mokoomba was back in Europe again from June to September playing concerts, summer music festivals and conducting workshops in schools. The year 2010 was remarkable for the band starting with great performances at Harare International Festival of the Arts main stage in collaboration with Manou Gallo (Ivory Coast/Belguim) and at the Chimanimani Arts Festival before leaving for Europe in June. Highlights of their European tour were performances at the Afrika Festival – Netherlands, Festival Musicale del Mediterraneo –Italy, Couleur Café Festival – Belgium, Colours of Ostrava Festival – Austria, San Marino Festival – Italy, Festival Pirinoes – Spain , Imagine Festival – Norway, ME YOU ZIK Festival – Luxemburg and the Rock um Knuelder Festival- Luxemburg.  In October they performed at the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi were Zimbabwean superstar Oliver Mtukudzi headlined and there was an African debut for UK bands, The Noissettes  (led by Shingai Shoniwa) and upcoming talent Tinashe who both have roots in Zimbabwe.

In 2011, the band, again performed at the Harare International Festival of Arts in collaboration with contemporary dancer and singer Matty Julius. Their EP titled Umvundla,  a collaboration with popular DJ Gregor Salto (Netherlands), produced by Africa Unsigned was released in Amsterdam in September. Mokoomba also recorded their second album (12 tracks) titled Rising Tide (part in Brussels and part in Harare) produced by Manou Gallo (Ivory Coast/Belgium) courtesy of Zig Zag World (Belgium). A documentary titled "Mokoomba d'une rive à l'autre" by Frank Dalmat and Francis Ducat was screened in Europe at the prestigious music conference Womex (Denmark) and also shown at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival. It tells the story of Mokoomba while addressing the relationship between culture and economic development in the south.

Mokoomba’s debut album “Kweseka-Drifting Ahead” and the EP Umvundla have been doing well on the market and the band’s hit song Messe Messe and its remixes are making waves on underground dance music charts. Messe Messe is a collaboration between Mokoomba and popular Dutch house producer Gregor Salto funded  by Africa Unsigned as part of the Stand Up Anti Poverty Campaign run by EEN/GAAP.

Discography

Mokoomba ft. Gregor Salto - Umvundla EP (2011)
Mokoomba ft. Gregor Salto - Messe Messe, Single (2010)
Mokoomba - Kweseka, Drifting Ahead (2009)