Zimbabwe’s Mokoomba play tonight at CSPS

Mokoomba to play CSPS
Mokoomba hail from the Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe. — photo by Ralf Schulze


CSPS Hall — Friday, August 1 at 8 p.m.

Internationally-acclaimed recording artists Mokoomba bring the vibrant musical traditions of southern Africa to CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids this Friday. Mokoomba’s music takes root in the rich musical heritage of the Victoria Falls region of Zimbabwe while embracing contemporary styles like funk, reggae, hip-hop and R&B. This is the kind of world music that will make almost everyone feel like dancing.

One of the band’s recent singles, “Njoka”, serves as a fine introduction to Mokoomba’s sound. The song begins with a catchy, rhythmic guitar part that recalls the African harp, the kora. A human beat-box and funky bass line anchor the song in more contemporary styles while the vocals hint at R&B and hip hop. Despite the diverse influences evident in the song, it never loses focus or energy.

The group’s lyrics command attention as well though you may not be able to understand a word. Mokoomba’s vocals are usually in Tonga, a language little-known outside of the Victoria Falls area. Some of the words take inspiration from Tonga proverbs and parables still relevant to modern life. Fear not, Mokoomba’s tight melodies and captivating poly-rhythms have no trouble crossing the language barrier.

If you’d like to know more about the band’s life experience in Zimbabwe, be sure to check out the BBC’s fascinating mini-doc. Band members discuss a song inspired by the Tonga initiation rite that young males undergo. This is also the time when young musicians discover and develop their talents. The video features Mokoomba’s ensemble vocal parts, one of the most captivating aspects of their songs.

Mokoomba is in the midst of a North American tour in support of their latest release, The Rising Tide. Don’t miss their show tonight at 8 p.m.


  1. Very well written review that covers all aspects of the performance thoroughly. I enjoy his reviews!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


40 Years Forward:

A Celebration of Empowerment & Hope

Deb Talan of "The Weepies" will begin our night of celebration with a story of survival, empowerment, and hope told through words and song. Join us in remembering our past and envisioning the future at the Coralville Mariott.


Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.

Little Village's

From Aug. 1-Sept. 30, cast your vote for your favorite places, people, eats and entertainment around the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area.

Don't forget to explain your picks! The best answers will be published in LV's Best of the CRANDIC issue, out Dec. 3, 2019.