BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
GLOBETROTTING Afro-fusion band, Mokoomba, could be Zimbabwe’s biggest cultural export through music.
The award-winning outfit, which perhaps is known better outside the country, has performed in nearly every part of the world where their music — which celebrates their Tonga culture, traditions and language — has found many takers.
The group said it was excited to be part of the line-up of musicians performing at this year’s edition of Music in Africa Conference for Collaborations, Exchange and Showcases (ACCES) slated for November 30 in Accra, Ghana.
The showcase, which is now in its third edition, is a leading pan-African music business event organised by the Music in Africa Foundation (MIAF) and held in a different African city every year.
Mokoomba manager Marcus Gora told NewsDay Life & Style that they revelled in the opportunity to perform before local and international bookers and audiences in Ghana on their debut in that country.
“We are excited to be performing in Ghana for the first time. Our performance at ACCES will be in front of an audience of local and international bookers and local audiences. The showcase programme has other artistes from various countries,” he said.
“Our second concert will be at a venue called the Jazz Bar and Grill in collaboration with local (Ghanaian) artiste KyeKyeku.”
The performers at the showcase, include Songhoy Blues (Mali), Gato Preto (Mozambique and Ghana), Arka’n (Togo), Sibusile Xaba (South Africa) and Ifrikya Spirit (Algeria), Lucia de Carvalho (Angolan based in France) and Bholoja (eSwatini), as well as locals Yaa Yaa, Kyekyeku and Ghanalogue Highlife, Cina Soul and FRA.
Global music superstar Akon is one of the leading speakers at this year’s event. The five-time Grammy nominee joins a star-studded line-up that includes top Ghanaian musicians and experts such as Sarkodie, Efya, Samini, Kyekyeku, John Collins, Ebo Taylor, Bibie Brew and Wanlov the Kubolor.
High-profile speakers and facilitators will include Chocolate City vice-president Aibee Abidoye, Ditto music founder and CEO Lee Parsons (UK), Airforce1 Records MD Joe Chialo (Germany), Gallo Music Group GM Rob Cowling (South Africa) Boulevard Festival co-director Hichman Bahou (Morocco) and TRUE Africa founder and editor-in-chief Claude Grunitzky.
Mokoomba, with their music rooted in the Tonga, Luvale and Nyanja rhythms and melodies have used their compositions to transcend borders and cultures as they continue to be recognised and celebrated across the world.
The group was inducted into the Hall of Fame when Afropop Worldwide celebrated its 30th anniversary last year at City Winery, New York City.