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Mokoomba stirs magic on stage

by Staff reporter
27 May 2020 at 07:40hrs | Views
INIMITABLE Afro-fusion outfit Mokoomba on Monday night justified their profile as the country's biggest music export with a matchless stage performance during the Africa is Mother Live Concert to mark Africa Day.

The Africa Day concert, which was streamed live on Facebook, Ngoda TV, ZimboTV and ZimThrive, provided two hours of intense, unrelenting magic as the award-winning Mokoomba outfit shared the stage with Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and Hope Masike in the concert watched by nearly 2 000 Facebook users.

The concert had to be staged online in the wake of the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), which has seen governments across the world invoke lockdowns including bans on public gatherings to frustrate the spread of the disease. As of yesterday afternoon, the disease had claimed 350 539 lives worldwide.

Although Mokoomba performed last - like the icing on the cake of the show - their stage work was a seamless presentation for the archives as they once again demonstrated the beauty of their traditional Tonga rhythms as language barriers were burnt to a crisp in the electrifying stage act.

Just rolling before out their performance, bass guitarist and backing vocalist, Abundance Mutodi, had promised viewers tonnes of raw energy on stage.

"It is going to be a roller coaster of real African music and energy," he said, and the stagecraft lived up to that billing. Although the group performed a number of tracks from their expansive discography, the songs Nyasola, Kamkanda and Nyaradzo appeared to strike a deeper chord with viewers, with one adulating Facebook user commenting that she was now changing her name to Nyaradzo.

In the acapella love ballad Nyaradzo - off their 2017 album Luyando - a love-struck young man expresses his desire and hope to get together with the damsel that has stolen his heart.

A solo guitar performance by guitarist and backing vocalist Trust Semende as the group wrapped its slot was purely enchanting, attracting a deluge of positive comments from viewers.

Academic and law lecturer Alex Magaisa described the entire set as "absolutely beautiful" while filmmaker Joe Njagu admitted that Mokoomba - renowned globally for their sensational acapella harmonies - was "the best in the business".

Top music producer Clive "Mono" Mukundu, who also watched the performance online, said the internationally-acclaimed outfit was in a class of its own.

"I doubt if we have any band that has such a tight combination," he said. "No wonder they are the most internationally accepted band from Zimbabwe at the moment."

Mathias Muzaza - on lead vocals and percussion - enchanted viewers with his extra-ordinary vocal range as they belted one song after another.

The flow, co-ordination and energy on stage was vintage Mokoomba at their best.

Earlier, Masike had set the bar high with her own polished performance that made viewers fall in love with the mbira again with sublime performances of Musha Mukadzi and Todzungaira - re-contextualised to speak to the time of COVID-19, which has driven the world to its wits' end -as well as Idenga (off Exorcism of a Spinster album).

Idenga is a love song in which a young woman compares the kisses, touches and the moments she spends with her lover to heaven.

But it is the high octane of Ndire Ndire, the chants, the whistles, that are likely to echo in the viewers' ears long after the show was put to bed. It was a high-voltage stage display.

Katomeni-Mbofana proved that despite appearing to have taken a back seat from mainstream music, her magic has not faded.

She belted out songs such as Ndiwe Muridzi Wemoyo Wangu and Chitsva Chirimurutsoka from her forthcoming album.

The song Ganda (Skin), which the songbird wrote together with a friend a few years ago, was apt for the Africa Day celebrations.

An ode to the dark-hued skin of mainly African people, is a show of pride in African culture, traditions and totems.

Ngoda TV received massive credits from charmed fans for delivering a flawless show with epic sound and visuals.

Source - newsday

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