HARARE – Trailblazing Mokoomba will headline the 2016 edition of Zambia’s Wildest Music and Arts Festival (EleFest) set for Lusaka Showgrounds on Saturday.
Mokoomba, who made a historical debut performance at the Apollo Theatre in
Harlem, New York during their recent tour of Canada and United States of America, will share the stage with leading Zambian A fro-jazz and soul artistes who include Maureen Lilanda, James Sakala and the Elect Band, Wezi, MumbaYachi and KapiriMposhi 4.0.
EleFest, now in its second edition, seeks to celebrate wildlife conservation in Zambia.
The festival venue will showcase several exhibitions on wildlife wonders and the work being done to protect it. Mokoomba manager Marcus Gora told the Daily News that the Zambian trip was another proof of their increasing popularity beyond Zimbabwe’s border.
“We are happy to have been invited to headline EleFest in Zambia. The festival is centred around raising awareness on wildlife conservation, an issue that we care about deeply,” Gora said.
He also added that their performance in Lusaka would be a rehearsal for their forthcoming tour of Europe that will take place from mid-June to the end of August.
“We are also preparing for our Europe tour which starts next month. We have a new and improved live act for this upcoming tour with lots of new material and elements.
“Some of the new songs that will be on our set list are Munaye, a song which highlights the plight of orphans in Zimbabwe as well as fun dance tracks like Muzwile,” he said.
Mokoomba has toured more than 50 countries around the globe where their music has received critical attention and numerous accolades.
The Victoria Falls group, formed in 2001, won the
Music Crossroads Inter-regional Festival in Lilongwe, Malawi in August 2008 which presented them a chance to tour Europe for the first time and record an album.
Mokoomba released their debut album Kweseka in 2009, winning critics and audiences alike with their electrifying Afro-fusion that was anchored on tantalising traditional Tonga beats.
Their second album Rising Tide (2012) was rated as “one of the world’s 10 best albums of the year” by fROOTS magazine.
Following a live performance on Later… with Jools Holland on BBC and a showcase at the Womex Festival in Greece, the band won the prestigious Songlines Music Award for “Best Newcomer” two years ago.
Last year, Mokoomba was the opening act at the 2015 Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) in recognition of their growing local and international profile.