Mokoomba: Afro-Fusion Music from Zimbabwe

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Mokoomba is a six-piece band that hails from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Band members Mathias Muzaza, Trustworth Samende, Abundance Mutori, Donald Moyo, Ndaba Coster Moyo, and Miti Mugande grew up together in Chinotimba Township, Victoria Falls, and share similar cultural influences.

The group performs music celebrating their Zimbabwean culture and traditions interpreted for modern audiences, using several languages, including Tonga, Shona, Luvala, Ndebele, and English. They describe their music as a fusion of traditional music fused with local, regional and international influences to achieve “a sound that is danceable, sweet, and emotionally engaging.” Facing the challenges of social division in Zimbabwe, they strive to perform music that brings diverse peoples together. While they began by seeking to please local audiences, their music is now international and the band has performed in over 40 countries.

The six band members grew up together in Chinotimba Township and crossed paths in school. This northwestern corner of Zimbabwe borders Zambia, Botswana, and a touch of Namibia, with Malawi not far. The tribal groups who long populated this region prior to European colonization include the Tonga, Luvalle, and Njanja tribes, although others have come to live in this area including the Ndebele. Mokoomba band members have roots in these tribal groups. Victoria Falls is both the name of the town and the name of the spectacular falls on the great Zambesi River. The band members chose the name Mokoomba, a Tonga word that signifies great respect for the river.

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