Mokoomba will in September make their debut appearance at Intwasa Arts Festival in Bulawayo.
The festival will run from September 18-22.
Formed in 2008 by late guitarist Alfred Mujimba, Mokoomba made history by winning the Music Crossroads–Inter-Regional Competition in Malawi
Since then the band has become a force to reckon with in the world of arts, performing in various prominent European festivals in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Norway and Austria, while regionally they have toured Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi.
They have also featured at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa).
To date, Mokoomba has produced two albums titled Kweseka — Drifting Ahead and Rising Tide from which songs Umvundla and Mese Mese were a hit.
The group also collaborated with various artistes including Mano Gallo from Belgium and the Dutch House music producer Gregor Salto, with whom they performed with during this year’s Hifa.
Their music is a mixture of a number of indigenous languages like Luvale, Nyanja, Mbunda and Chokwe, all of which are Tonga dialects originally from Binga.
They fuse modern instruments with Tonga traditional instruments like the jemba and the bell to create tantalising and danceable traditional rhythms.
Raisedon Baya, the festival director, said he was highly excited about Mokoomba’s participation in the forthcoming festival.
“Excited as I am for the event, I must admit this year has not been easy, particularly our attempt to enhance the diversity of the festival by spicing it with foreign content,” said Baya.
He added that work permit costs, stringent conditions for foreign artists to perform in Zimbabwe and lack of funding, had forced Intwasa to scale down on the number of foreign artists coming for the festival.
Baya said despite the challenges, the festival’s reputation continued to grow as evidenced by the many letters of interest they had received particularly from groups and artists from Europe, West, East and Southern Africa.
“No condition, no matter how negative, will dampen the high celebratory mood in the Intwasa camp as the programmed groups, individual artists, the festival team and the city of Bulawayo itself have promised a life-changing experience this September,” he said.
The festival that will be held in seven different venues around Bulawayo, will also feature other exciting performances like Stitsha, a timeless Zimbabwean stage classic, Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and The Jewel by the Centre for Talent Development and the Tumbuka Dance Company, among others.
The festival seeks to promote diversity, human creativity and African aesthetics and is multi-disciplinary and sensitive to all arts genres.