Music fans gear up for 'African Night Fever' in England

Saidi Tumba Kanda

UK-based Tanzanian musician Saidi Tumba Kanda.

Photo credit: Pool

With the Covid-19 restrictions on gatherings gradually easing in England, arrangements are in place for a special African night dubbed the “African Night Fever” to be held on July 3 in Brighton City in England.

The show, dedicated to fans of African music, will feature a performance by UK-based Tanzanian musician Saidi Tumba Kanda. The event will be streamed online.

Speaking to Saturday Nation earlier this week, Saidi said he was delighted to perform once again to a live audience since live concerts were banned due to the Covid -19 pandemic.

“We have started rehearsal sessions for the show and are enthusiastic that we will interact with our music fans after an almost one and-a-half year’s break,” he said.

Like other live events that have been lined up in various parts of England and Europe, participants will be expected to adhere to health protocols to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In April last year, Saidi hosted an online show for his fans.

During the show, Saidi, an accomplished percussionist, will be backed by his Mvula Mandondo Tolekaa group which features former Wenge Musica band solo guitarist Bukina Faso (Mboka Liya), drummer Kabamba and bass guitarist Billy Mwangula.

“We will have a repertoire of traditional beats ranging from folklore to world beats,” he said. 

The show, which has been organised by Ebou Toyre, is set to start at 8pm. Prior to going solo, he performed with  the Tanzanian Orch Super Matimila band as a kongas (tumba) player under the leadership of the legendary Dr Remmy Ongala “Sura Mbaya”. During his stint with Matimila, he featured on some of the popular songs like Muziki Asili Yake Wapi, Kifo and Mariam wangu.

Sadi, who has lived in England for almost 35 years, has so far released albums like Ambush, which is a collaboration with Edward Shearer.

Kenyan fans of Saidi will recall when he accompanied the legendary Congolese guitarist Mose Fan Fan of “Papa Lolo” fame during a Kenyan tour in March, 2016. Others on that tour included guitarists Fiston Lusambo, Douglas Kib Misapi and former Lipua Lipua singer Nzaya Nzayadio.

Sande Asweda

Sande Asweda lead singer of the Afro Ngoma band.

Photo credit: Pool

 Meanwhile, veteran singer Sande Asweda (formerly of Musa Juma’s Orch Limpopo International) has lately been featuring as the lead singer of the Afro Ngoma Band under leadership of Ben Hinga. Sande is renowned for his singing ability for repertoire of golden oldies of both the local and international shows.

The Afro Ngoma group, which specialises in rhumba and zilizopendwa (oldies) performs at Pardus Lounge, Thika (Wednesdays); Garissa Road View Lounge, Makongeni (Fridays), while on Saturdays and Sundays at Mugoz Choma Base, Shujaa Mall, Nairobi. Others in the group include Laptop (lead guitar),) Obare (rhythm guitar), keyboard player Aki and bass guitarist Mose Masheri.

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