By Pa Modou Faal
The biggest free summer festival in the East Midlands was held in August at the Victoria Embankment in Nottingham after two consecutive years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival, which is known for attracted over 200, 000 visitors, is expected to have registered a greater number of visitors from around Nottinghamshire.
On the Saturday’s line up various entertainment activities was the Southern African rhythms of Kudaushe Matimba and Harare, a spectacular mix of music and dance electrifying urban Zimbabwe dance music reviving the thrill & spirit of the much-loved Bhundu Boys.
Harare are one of only a handful of Zimbabwean dance ensembles in Europe today.
Fronted by the exuberance and charisma of Zimbabwean musician Kuda Matimba, Harare feature a ground-breaking line-up, mixing the buzzing acoustics of the Southern African rich-toned marimba, mbira, ringing jingling guitars, swooping basslines, irresistible dance rhythms and uplifting vocals.
Kuda Matimba a marimbist, was a member of Zimbabwe’s legendary Bhundu Boys, a ground-breaking force in the African music industry, as they paved the way for more artists to reach commercial success in Europe and the US.
Harare celebrates both the past and the future of African dance music and brings a spectacular mix of Southern African musical styles, particularly the musical styles of Zimbabwe.
Kuda strongly believes in the importance of preserving one’s heritage through music.
Harare’s music is about social awareness, life, advice, respect, love for one another and compassion.
It expresses emotions such as pain, love, wisdom, and rage. Words to the songs are performed in the Shona language of Zimbabwe.
Kuda brings both old and new compositions and arrangements to the Harare set.
Their powerful and vibrant stage-shows have an unstoppable momentum guaranteed to fill the dance floor.
With such a varied and packed programme of entertainment and experiences, the free annual festival is one of the highlights of a Nottingham summer that has been enjoyed by generations of Nottingham folk since its inception in 1973.