Exuberant, youthful and energetic Mokoomba play Brighton Dome on Sunday, April 13.
Their story is one of diversity and perseverance.
The group hails from the Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe, popular for its natural beauty and the world’s largest bungee jump. But not much more is generally known about the people and their culture.
The region is home to the Tonga people who are one of the country’s minority groups. Most speak Tonga, which is not understood by the majority of the Ndebele and Shona-speaking population. Despite coming from one of Zimbabwe’s smallest rural villages, singing in a language foreign to even their countrymen, Mokoomba have never been deterred from their dream of making music.
The band’s style largely originates from lead vocalist Mathias Muzaza. Born to Angolan and Zambian parents, Mathias has spent his life travelling southern Africa, absorbing its music heritage into his repertoire. Fellow band members call him a walking, talking (but mostly singing) music library of southern Africa song.
Mathias said: “Languages have always come naturally. I now speak six. Wherever I go I want to learn the songs of the people I meet. It gives me inspiration and joy.”
Formed in 2001, Mokoomba’s road to fame started in August 2008 when, at the Music Crossroads InterRegional Festival (IRF) in Lilongwe (Malawi), they won the chance to tour Europe and record an album.
The band released Kweseka in 2009, winning critics and audiences alike with their electrifying mix of Afro-fusion energy and traditional Tonga beats.
Tickets on 01273 709709.