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Music Crossroads : Participant
Winner of the Music Crossroads InterRegional 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 - from northern Zimbabwe and other neighbour countries - have for the Zambezi River - that flows down the beautiful Victoria Waterfalls, 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), fusing it with: keyboard, percussion and drums, rhythm and 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!
The group was formed as Koomboka in 2001 and has today become a household name in the Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe. In 2004 the group recorded their first album entitled “The first of Koomboka” in Harare featuring the group’s senior founder Alfred Mujimba. It is now impossible to map the Zimbabwean music scene without passing the landmark MOKOOMBA of the Victoria Falls.
MOKOOMBA’s road to Music Crossroads fame began when they blew away the competition at the Zimbabwe provincial Festival held in Bulawayo, August 2007.
The group trained hard and was well prepared to take it to the next level by winning the Music Crossroads Zimbabwe National Finals in June 2008, thereby set to represent Zimbabwe together with the band “Gwarimba” at the Music Crossroads InterRegional Festival (IRF) in Lilongwe (Malawi). The IRF jury members took MOKOOMBA to their hearts due to the exceptional potential, strong musical material, the excellent lead and backing vocals backed by a tight, strumming groove. MOKOOMBA was awarded with the Music Crossroads first prize – a European tour in summer 2009 – alongside a year-long training program led by international music industry professionals to prepare the band members for the long road ahead.
“Perseverance, team work and humility has taken us this far” says band leader Abundance, “We believe the potential for Tonga music is still to be explored and will one day reach the world at large”.
The group’s songs relate to social ills, the HIV pandemic, love and other issues.
Mathias Muzaza –Vocals & Percussion
Abundance Mutori - Bass Guitar
Trustworth Samende - Lead Guitarist
Reason Muleya – Shakers
Costa Ndaba Moyo – Drums
Miti Mugande – Keyboards