NUMBER ONE IN EUROPE. . . Mokoomba shoots to the top

SIX African albums have made it to the top 20 of the World Music Charts Europe (WMCE) for September, with Tusona: Tracings in the Sand by Zimbabwean band Mokoomba taking the No 1 spot.

Tusona: Tracings in the Sand was released on July 7 after it was recorded by Mokoomba’s members entirely on their own during the pandemic.

The title was chosen to honour the Luvale people’s tradition of drawing signs and symbols in the sand to pass messages during initiation ceremonies.

“The album represents the group’s artistic growth and reflects their collective experiences over the years, forging a distinctive musical identity,” Mokoomba, which hails from Victoria Falls, says on its website.

“The album is a testament to Africa’s guitar band heritage and disproves the notion that Africa’s musical output is solely producer-based.”

At No 4 on the WMCE is Imphilo by eSwatini artist Bholoja, who is considered one of the leading figures in the contemporary Swazi music scene.

One World Music writes: “Bholoja’s voice has become a mouthpiece for the underprivileged.

“Singing in Siswati and English, his music blends alternative soul, gospel, jazz, blues, and African traditional rhythms.

“He draws his inspiration from Swazi tradition and seeks to preserve the country’s cultural heritage through his songs.

“His music is a response to the changing global situation and African growth challenges.

“This passionate artist soon became eSwatini’s rising symbol of its native rhythms, melodies, arts and culture.”

Up two spots to No 6 is Amatssou by Grammy-winning Tuareg collective Tinariwen, which has held steady in the charts for the past three months, while What Is Your Breaking Point by Nigerian Afrobeat collective BANTU is in 11th position.

Taa by various artists from Botswana climbed a position up to 12th and London Ko by Malian diva Fatoumata Diawara dropped to No 14 from sixth in August. –

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