Local recognition at last for Mokoomba

HARARE - A bumpercrowd — probably the biggest one they have attracted in Harare — thronged New Ambassador Hotel in Harare on Saturday night to witness Afrofusion group Mokoomba’s first gig of the year.

The multi-racial crowd could not have enough of Mokoomba’s enthralling music which is embedded in Tonga rhythms.

For many in the crowd it was difficult to imagine that only a few months ago the internationally-acclaimed band was struggling locally to match the big audiences that throng their concerts on a regular basis in Europe and North America.

Despite constantly winning the endorsement of several Western media outlets, including The Guardian in the United Kingdom, which recently described them as them “the best young band in Zimbabwe,” Mokoomba has for some reason found recognition at home elusive.

But the big crowd that attended the weekend show has given the group that hails from Victoria Falls reason to believe that local recognition has finally come.

“We had a very good crowd and a well received concert on Saturday. It was definitely one of the best audience sizes Mokoomba has attracted in Harare outside of festivals or album launches.

“We were pleasantly surprised because remember we are in January when disposable income is at a bare minimum,” a delighted Mokoomba manager Marcus Gora told the Daily News

He attributed the award-winning group’s new lease of life to the quality of performances they deliver on a consistent basis.

“I think word is going around about how good our shows are. We have supporters who really like the band and they come to almost every show.

“More people are bringing their friends, families and their visitors too and they are never disappointed. For this particular show, we were delighted because there was a fairly big group that came to Harare specifically for the show,” said the Mokoomba manager.

The increasing local support has forced the band to relook at their tour strategy which has previously been skewed in favour of international performances.

“We are still working on the dates for 2018 because we have a lot of interest in different places and we are trying to balance the international tours with a healthy local presence so we can continue to build on our growing local support.

“Our first tour will start towards the end of February when we will tour North America for a month and then we will come back and do a few local concerts in Victoria Falls, Bulawayo and Harare,” said Gora.

Last year in March they released their third titled Luyando (Mother’s love). The new album is a follow-up to their 2009 debut album Kweseka and Rising Tide (2012) which was rated as “one of the World’s 10 best albums of the year” by fROOTS magazine.

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