Brenda Phiri Entertainment Reporter
Victoria Falls-based afro-fusion group Mokoomba have set the bar high after staging an electrifying performance at the Harare International Festival of the Arts opening night on Tuesday. The six-member group was the toast of the night at the event that took place at the ZOL Main Stage. Their superb act leaves Salif Keita, who is regarded as the ‘’golden voice of Africa’ with a mammoth task to surpass the standard that was set by the youthful artistes.
“Salif Keita has been known to rise to the occasion at any day but after what Mokoomba did tonight that task is not going to be easy now,” said a music enthusiast who graced the show.
Salif Keita is scheduled to perform at the same ZOL Main Stage on the closing night (May 3) with support from Hope Masike.
This year’s opening show was dubbed “The Power of Many”
Mokoomba made a grand entrance at 7.30pm. The unmistakable signature of lead vocalist Mathias Muzaza put soul into their sound. They burst on stage with “Misozi” much to the delight of the full house at the opening night.
The act was complemented by collaboration with artistes from different disciplines who in turn made it timeless.
The show was not limited to music as they featured opera, poetry and various contemporary dances and instruments.
New York City vocalist and accordionist – Magda – gave the show a different style in the wellchoreographed performance that had all the ingredients of a thriller.
Award-winning Erich Oskar Huetter was part of the mix that also featured contemporary dancers Tumbuka Dance Company and AfriKera Dance Ensemble.
National Ballet tap dancer Jessie Sawyers dazzled the audience as she danced to Mokoomba music.
Other performances came in the form of Tangram and Zvishamiso Dance Company among a host of local and visiting collaborators. The result was spectacular, exhibiting the power of joining forces.
The curtain came down at the peak of the show which was marked by a lavish display of fireworks that lit up the Harare sky.
The well-travelled Mokoomba that has drawn rave reviews from different parts of the world can safely add another feather to their cap after a scintillating performance at Hifa.