Xolisani Nyathi : Arts Reporter
In the heart of Harlem (US) lies one of the most important entertainment venues in the world, the legendary Apollo Theatre. Not only is this hallowed stage essential to African-American culture, it also helped shape popular entertainment as we know it and launched the careers of hundreds of the United States’ most beloved musicians and artistes like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.Such is the power and influence of the vibrant Zimbabwean group Mokoomba who made history by performing at the Apollo Theatre on March 26, making them the first Zimbabwean group to entertain an audience at the auspicious venue. Mokoomba confirmed this performance through their Facebook page and were deservedly applauded and celebrated for raising the country’s flag high.
In an interview, Mokoomba manager Marcus Gora said the group was astounded by the reception they got in the US. They will be staging more performances in different venues in different cities in the US.
“The group is excited with this history making performance at the Apollo on Saturday, and will be performing in other venues. Yesterday they performed at a venue called the Falcon in Malboro, New York.
Today they will perform at Oberon theatre and then they will move on to other parts of the United States such as Massachusetts and New Hempshire.
“Mokoomba has always been a globetrotting group with performances throughout Europe and on other continents. This group has continuously represented Zimbabwe and works hard to raise the country’s flag high wherever they go,” Gora said.
The group recently posted pictures on their Facebook page joining a generation of living and late legendary musicians in honouring one of Apollo’s most hallowed traditions, invoking a blessing from the “Tree of Hope”.
According to the New York Times, Mokoomba shared the Apollo stage with solo musician and guitar hero, Bombino.