Right at the tip of Zimbabwe’s mohawk – or spout – or point – depending which way your imagination angles, lies the magnificent town of Victoria Falls. Victoria Falls, famed for having once made the seven wonders of the world list, boasts treasure beyond the terrific Mosi-O-Ya-Tunya. Be not misled, dear reader; the beauty of many pales in comparison to the grandeur of the Falls, but that is a tale for another day. Today we bring you her offspring. That meek yet breath-taking town birthed us the band Mokoomba. Described by some as intriguing, impressive and extraordinary, band manager Marcus Gora gives us some insight on who Mokoomba is:
Anna T: What is the origin of the band name Mokoomba? What does the name mean?
Marcus: The name Mokoomba is a concept that captures the importance and significance of the Zambezi river in the lives of the people who live on its shores.
Anna T: When was the band formed?
Marcus: The band was formed in 2001 and turned professional in 2008.
Anna T: Please list the band members and their respective instruments?
Marcus: Mathias Muzaza – Lead Vocalist
Trustworth Samende – Lead guitarist
Donald Moyo – Keyboard player
Miti Mugande – Percussionanists
Ndaba Coster Moyo – Drummer
Abundance Mutori – Bass player
Anna T: What brought the band together, what made them decide to start making music together?
Marcus: We all grew up in the same township called Chinotimba in Victoria Falls. We went to the same schools and we would play music a lot in our spare time so it was a very easy and natural decision for us to start a band.
Anna T: What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Anna T: Who writes the band’s music?
Marcus: Our lead vocalist Mathias Muzaza writes most of the songs and ideas while the rest of the band comes up with the arrangement and musicality.
Anna T: Which language(s) do you sing in?
Marcus: We sing mostly in Tonga and Luvale but we also have songs in Nyanja and Ndebele
Anna T: And what are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Marcus: We sing about the life around us and what we observe and learn in the societies that we live in today while trying as much as we can to apply the ancient traditional wisdom of our people.
Anna T: Entrancing and fiercely energetic are but two words that describe your stage presence. What does it take to achieve that?
Marcus: We are inspired very much by the power of music and its ability to heal and uplift people so we want to create that experience for the audiences that attend our concerts.
Anna T: Do you stick to a fixed rehearsal schedule or does it happen more on a spontaneous basis?
Marcus: We are not rigid in terms of rehearsal times but we are pushed by new ideas and we do work very hard.
Anna T: Is music a full-time occupation for all of the band members?
Anna T: Which places have you toured? What is the experience like, and have you any other tours or shows lined up soon?
Marcus: In the past 4 years we have taken our music to over 40 countries in Africa, Europe and Asia.
Touring is always an exciting and enriching experience for us because it gives us the opportunity to share our music while we learn more about other people and their cultures and music.
We are curretly on a tour that is taking us to 10 countires namely Austria, Australia, Belguim, Denmark, Germany, Luxembuorg, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the UK.
Anna T: What does it take to create and sustain a successful band such as your own?
Marcus: We all share a common dream which is to become one of the best bands to come out of Zimbabwe and this keeps us motivated, driven and disciplined.
Anna T: Would you say your music has evolved since you first began playing music together?
Marcus: We are growing steadily as individuals and as musicians and that is bound to be reflected in the music that we are making now.
Anna T: Where can fans and potential Mokoomba addicts get your music?
Marcus: Our website is www.mokoomba.com and it has all the information about Mokoomba as well as links to our social media pages as well as online digital music stores that sell our music.
Anna T: Finally, any parting words?
Marcus: Many thanks to you for the interview, we really appreciate it and we would also like to take this opportunity to thank our audiences for the continuing support.
Find out more about Mokoomba on their website: www.mokoomba.com
While you are there, go ahead and sample the music from their album, Rising Tide. My advice: wherever you are in the world, if you get a chance to attend a Mokoomba concert, go ahead and do it. You may not understand a word of the language but I guarantee that you WILL remember the experience!
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