Mokoomba hails from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, where the band’s six members — Mathias Muzaza (lead vocalist), Ndaba Coster Moyo (Drummer, backing vocals), Trustworth Samende (Lead Guitar, backing vocals) Donald Moyo, (keyboards, backing vocals), Miti Mugande, (percussion & backing vocals) and Abundance Mutori (bass, backing vocals) — grew up as friends in the Chinotimba township.
While the majority of Zimbabweans belong to the dominant Shona ethnic group or the large Ndebele minority, the members of Mokoomba hail from a range of different ethnic groups represented in this border town, including the Luvale, Nyanja, and Tonga peoples; and it was the Tonga who gave mighty Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall, its original name: “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders).
Living in a border town that attracts tourists from all over the world gave Mokoomba’s music an international outlook from the beginning, embracing everything from soukous to ska, hip hop to salsa. At the same time, local music and traditions keep Mokoomba’s music rooted, giving it a unique perspective that’s unlike anything else you’ve heard from Zimbabwe before.
Mokoomba will perform on Friday, May 19, I The Red Room at Café 939. Showtime is 8 PM. Tickets $28.