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Mokoomba – Zimbabwe

In 2010 Mokoomba gave such a spectacular performance in Hertme that we wanted them back on stage again. This year they will finally return and they will close the first day of the festival on Saturday. That is entrusted to them, because they have an enormous energy on stage.

They were in Hertme when they were still relatively unknown. They have since released three albums and performed in over 40 countries worldwide at major festivals including Roskilde in Denmark, Sziget in Hungary and the Gnawa festival in Morocco. Domestically, they are one of the most popular bands where they have collaborated with big stars such as Hugh Masekela and Baaba Maal.

Their third album “Luyando” is a somewhat rawer, acoustic album than their earlier rock band oriented records. The songs are rooted in local traditions and life in their hometown of Victoria Falls, a town on the Zambezi River named after the spectacular Victoria Falls. The word "mokoomba" means deep respect for the river. When the band first entered the music scene, their mix of traditional rhythms and contemporary Zimrock took the country by storm. Mokoomba brings a unique sound with a mix of Sungura, Reggae and Dancehall, Urban and Afro Jazz bands.

“Luyando” means motherly love in Tonga, a language spoken by the natives of the Zambezi Valley in southern Africa. The songs on this album are about a disappearing world of traditions that used to be central to Tonga and Luvale society, its customs, rituals and everyday life. There are cautionary and educational songs such as “Njawane” which advise young hunters how to act when confronted by a dangerous lion. The song “Kumukanda” is inspired by a Tonga initiation ceremony and “Mabemba” speaks about the values ​​of the Tonga people. But the album also offers some lighter, more playful songs such as “Nyaradzo”; a song about courtship, and “Kulindiswe”, a personal lament about the hardships of band life that leads them to spend a lot of time away from their families as they face the travel the world.

It will be nice to see them again in Hertme after all these years in which the band has become even better.

Listen to Mokoomba, here and here Spotify or Soundcloud.


Mathias Muzaza, lead vocals

Trustworth Samende, lead guitar

Miti Mugande, percussion

Phathisani Moyo, keyboards

Abundance Ephraim Mutori, bass guitar

Ndaba Coster Moyo, drums