Music Alive for Friday 20 March 2015
Named in honour of the vibrancy of the Zambezi River, Mokoomba hails from the Victoria Falls region, home to the Tonga people who are one of Zimbabwe’s minority groups. Singing in their tribal tongue, a language that is foreign to even their countrymen, Mokoomba is also musically distinctive, combining traditional and modern instruments with a rich blend of rhythms. The result is a vibrant sound that embraces diverse cultures – thanks largely to lead vocalist Mathias Muzaza.
Formed in 2007, the group represented Zimbabwe at Music Crossroads InterRegional Festival and beat fierce competition from Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to win a European tour and recording session.
The resulting album, Kweseka, exhibited a dynamically youthful style, while the group’s 2012 album Rising Tide melds dancefloor energy with more serene rhythm ‘n’ blues in songs that relate to social ills, the HIV pandemic, love and the Zimbabwean determination to never give up hope.
Recorded live at WOMAD Taranaki 2014 by Radio New Zealand