OH 030CD OH 030CD

Luyando means "mother's love" in Tonga, a language that is spoken by the first inhabitants of the Zambezi Valley of Southern Africa. But beyond the word, Luyando goes to the heart of Mokoomba's music. Lyrical and beautifully breezy, Luyando is a spiritual journey into the heart of Zimbabwean society, culture, and tradition. On Luyando, Mokoomba modified their rock-band oriented line-up to record a more raw, acoustic album. The songs are rooted in the local traditions and life in their hometown of Victoria Falls, a town on the Zambezi River, named after the Victoria Falls. When the band first hit the music scene their blend of traditional rhythms and contemporary Zimrock took the country by storm. Mokoomba brought a unique flavor to a scene that was dominated by sungura, reggae, and dancehall, urban and Afro jazz bands. On Luyando, Mokoomba dig even deeper into their heritage: Luyando takes the listener back into the past to a vanishing world of traditions that used to be at the heart of Tonga and Luvale society, their customs, rituals, and even day-to-day life. There are the cautionary and instructive tracks like, "Njawane", which advises young hunters of how to act when faced with a dangerous lion. The haunting "Kumukanda" is inspired by a Tonga initiation ceremony and "Mabemba" speaks about the values of the Tonga people. The lighter, and more playful "Nyaradzo" is a song of cheeky courtship and "Kulindiswe" is a personal lament on the hardships of band life. Victoria Falls, a meeting point of a multitude of traditions, is the main inspiration for the lead singer and composer, Mathias Muzaza. While Tonga dominates as a language of composition and the native language of most members of the group, the songs are sung in at least three other languages: Shona, Luvale, and Ndebele. Most members of the group are ethnically Tonga one of Zimbabwe's (and Zambia's) smallest ethnic groups. The history of the Tonga is crucial to Luyando and central to the project is Kambowa the song that speaks of a key moment of Tonga history, the traumatic displacement of the Tonga from their ancestral lands in 1955 to make way for the Kariba dam. At present, Zimbabwe is in a state of economic turbulence and political uncertainty. Luyando is, in its own small way, a place where everyone who aspires for better is welcome.