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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« on: January 28 2009 »

ON EUROPEAN TOUR IN MAY, JUNE, JULY 2009
 
Winners  of  the  Music  Crossroads  Southern  Africa  Festival  2008,  MOKOOMBA  brings  its
electrifying  blend  of  Afro‐fusion  and  tantalizing  traditional  Tonga  rhythms,  spiced  with
influences  from  across  Southern  Africa!  The  name  MOKOOMBA  stems  from  the  deep
respect  that  the  Tonga  people  have  for  the  Zambezi  River  and  for  the  vibrant  life  that  it
brings to their music and culture. This exciting group from Zimbabwe certainly has a unique
sound that is set to take the world music scene by storm. 

MATHIAS MUZAZA – Lead vocal & Percussion
                                         
ABUNDANCE MUTORI ‐ Bass Guitar
                                         
TRUSTWORTH SAMENDE ‐ Guitar & Backing vocals
                                         
DONALD MOYO ‐ Keyboard & Backing Vocals
                                         
COSTA NDABA MOYO ‐Drums
                                         
MITI MUGANDE ‐ Percussion & Backing vocals
                                         
International booking & management : ZIG ZAG WORLD
Poney Gross – poney@zigzagworld.be & Lisanne Bervoets – assistant@zigzagworld.be
www.zigzagworld.bewww.myspace.com/mokoomba  Office : +32 (0)2 537 25 25  ‐
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #1 on: January 28 2009 »

Dear Mr. Kuthan,

Zig Zag World Management, based in Brussels, would like to ask your attention for a unique Zimbabwean band called MOKOOMBA that will make an exclusive European Summer tour in 2009 .

Mokoomba is the winning band of the Music Crossroads Southern Africa Festival’08 that took place in Malawi. The first prize is  an European tour where they will give concerts at different concert venue’s, fesitvals, schools and cultural institutions. They are also prepared to give a 50’ workshop about the Zimbabwean culture including a 20’ a cappella part.

Music Crossroads International (MCI) is a unique youth empowerment through music program initiated in 1995 by Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) and presently encompasses five Southern African countries: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. www.music-crossroads.net.

The tour is partly supported by MCI and has a non-commercial character. Zig Zag World is taking care of the organisation and the booking of this tour and is therefore looking for concerts and workshops across Europe in the period May/June/July '09.

Up till now we have signed several concerts in Belgium (Festival Couleur Café in Brussels), The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and  we are looking for more contacts in Europe that can lead us to communities, networks or institutions that are dealing with Zimbabwe, Africa, Youth, and Development Aid at any level.

If you are interested in this band in any way, we would be happy to sent you more material and information about Mokoomba. You can already have a look at their myspace ; www.myspace.com/mokoomba to get a taste of this great afro-fusion band.

We would be happy to hear from you and feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who could be interested.

Kind regards,
Lisanne Bervoets

Lisanne Bervoets
ZIG ZAG WORLD Management
Music Crossroads International
32, rue aux Fleurs
B-1000 Bruxelles / Belgium
T: +32 2 537 25 25
M:+32 484413461
E: assistant@zigzagworld.be
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #2 on: June 10 2009 »

Young Zimbabwean artists Mokoomba denied VISA by European authorities!

The "Mokoomba" European summer tour 2009 cancelled

After insurmountable visa hassles and around-the-clock efforts to obtain these precious documents - only one week before the first concert - we have had, for the first time in Music Crossroads' history, to realize that visas will not be ready on time and, finally forced to succumb to European countries' immigration offices ignorance, indifference and formalism, the 2009 European summer tour of ‘Mokoomba' had to be canceled.

The outstanding Zimbabwean band ‘Mokoomba' from the VicFalls region won the 1st prize at the Music Crossroads InterRegional Festival in Lilongwe, August 2008. Since then, they have been working hard to expand their repertoire and improve their performance skills with MCI's Band Manager Poney Gross, who has done three week-long rehearsal sessions with the band in Vic Falls and in Harare over the past year. A CD has been recorded and manufactured and all nuts and bolts perfectly trimmed for the six band members' tour in Europe during summer 2009 - in Spain, Holland, Belgium, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Slovenia and Croatia.

This is a BIG deception to concert-goers throughout Europe - but even more so for the band members that have worked so hard and successfully to prepare a magnificent stage show for European music-lovers. ‘Mokoomba' has been ranked by record companies and concert promoters as one of MusicCrossroads' biggest and most promising discoveries since its inception in 1996.

MCI is already assessing the possibilities to organize a smaller tour in Europe for the band later in the season 2009/2010 but potential concert organizers and contributors have yet to be contacted and confirmed.

MCI thanks all organizations, festivals and local organizers for their support, efforts and pursuits in staging ‘Mokoomba' this summer, with our sincere hope that we shall be able to cooperate again and under better terms for the future - be it with ‘Mokoomba' or with other prize-winning actsof Music Crossroads.

Thanking you all for your understanding in this difficult situation - we are aware of the inconvenience and disappointment this cancellation may cause numerous concert organizers and -goers; a special thanks go to Rob van Waaijen in Holland and Mathias Bangure and his Music Crossroads team in Zimbabwe for their relentless efforts in pursuing this cause.

Finally and on behalf of us all, I send a special greeting of encouragement to all members of ‘Mokoomba': keep up the good work and new chances will arise in the future! Even if it hurts, ‘Keep Smiling' - this has been our internal mantra during the past difficult weeks.

Yours sincerely,

Dag Franzén
Executive Director
Music Crossroads International

www.music-crossroads.net
www.myspace.com/mokoomba
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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« Reply #3 on: June 16 2009 »

Access Denied: Petition Against EU VISA Discrimination of Musicians

11 Jun 09

The announcement (8 June) by JMI and Music Crossroads of the forced cancellation of the European tour of young Zimbabwean artists Mokoomba due to blocked visas, has struck a chord with many facing similar difficulties. We thank you for your responses and invite you to show your support for Mokoomba by Signing this Petition and forwarding this mail to as many friends and colleagues as you have!


Music events across Europe are important global villages - uniting local and international artists, providing intercultural learning opportunities, promoting peace and respect.

Yet power lies in the hands of those deciding on visas to dictate which artists, and from which countries, are welcome behind the walls of fortress Europe to let their voices be heard.

Visa obstructions to the young Zimbabwean group Mokoomba in the wake of their European tour raises major concerns over the future of cultural diversity on the European stage.

In the lead up to their European Tour, they were dubbed ‘The Next Generation of Zimbabwean Hope' - in celebration of their incredible talent and story of diversity and perseverance, the group coming from one of Zimbabwe's smallest rural villages, and singing in Tonga, a language foreign to even the majority Ndebele and Shona speaking population of Zimbabwe.

"Difficult, inflexible, and un-transparent visa procedures have led the music community to a crisis point. Many concert organizers are no longer able to take the risk in booking artists from countries where visas are required, knowing what issues may arise later when artists are blocked behind borders" - Blasko Smilevski, JMI Secretary General. "It is not difficult to guess which countries' artists will be cut out of the picture."

In 2006, the European Community signed the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity, committing Europe to develop "measures in developed countries with a view to facilitating access to their territory for cultural activities from developing countries," yet administrative procedures have yet to reflect these good intentions.

Band leader Abundance Mutori, whose songs speak of social ills, the HIV pandemic, love and a Zimbabwean nation determined never to give up hope said "we believe the potential for Tonga music is still to be explored and will one day reach the world at large".

The Mokoomba tour is part of the Music Crossroads program, the largest youth empowerment program in Southern Africa, supported and funded by the Government authorities in Norway, Spain and Sweden. "It is an ironic tragedy that Mokoomba has been bared from taking the stage in countries who helped create the dream" said Blasko Smilevski.

Don't let visa regulations restrict cultural exchange between Europe and the rest of the world, please join us and Sign this Petition

Contact European Commission President Barroso and demand a review of visa procedures for artists from 'developing countries', see recommendations HERE.

More Info:
Matt Clark, Communications Officer, JMI
press@jmi.net
+32 2 513 97 74
www.jmi.net

Join the fight on Facebook
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Peter Kuthan / AZFA
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Posts: 819


« Reply #4 on: June 16 2009 »

liebe kollegInnen,

als jemand der seit jahren kulturaustausch mit dem südlichen afrika und speziell mit den Tonga in Zimbabwe und Zambia organisiert beschämt und empört mich die verweigerung der visa für Mokoomba ganz besonders. deshalb unterstütze ich auch nachdrücklich Eure initiative.

liebe grüsse
peter kuthan
Austria Zimbabwe Friendship Association
Linz / Austria

siehe auch unseren Parade blog, der im vergangenen april über die visa hürden der an der Parade in Linz09 teilnehmenden musikgruppen berichtet hat: www.linz09.at/parade-blog

24.04.2009
Europas Visa Hürden

Zuerst die gute Nachricht: alle an der Parade teilnehmenden MusikerInnen von außerhalb Europas haben letztendlich die Visa Hürden geschafft!

Das ist keineswegs selbstverständlich, sind doch generell die Einreisebestimmungen in Richtung Europa in den letzten Jahren gerade auch für KünstlerInnen immer restriktiver geworden. Dies steht in starkem Kontrast zu der Tatsache, daß in Zeiten der Globalisierung die Mobilität von Kapital und Gütern nicht zuletzt durch Deregulierung rapide zugenommen hat.

Dank der Unterstützung des österreichischen Außenamtes und der österreichischen Botschaften in Dakar und Harare konnten die Visa Hürden für die MusikerInnen aus Burkina Faso, Zambia und Zimbabwe relativ zügig überwunden werden. Aber an anderen für den EU-Raum zuständigen Botschaften (wo keine österreichische Botschaft vor Ort ist) nahmen sie die Form von Schikanen an: wenn zum Beipiel fallweise zusätzlich zu den üblichen Dokumenten (Einladung, Verpflichtungserklärung von Linz09, Krankenversicherung, Ticket) ein Nachweis der Beschäftigung, ein Katasterauszug über Landbesitz oder eine Heiratsurkunde verlangt wurde oder wenn alle Antragsteller gleich mehrmals persönlich erscheinen mußten (obwohl das mit weiten Anreisen verbunden ist).

Mit solchen bürokratischen Hürden und Auflagen schottet sich Europa ab, während seinen EinwohnerInnen die Welt zum Billigflugtarif offen steht. Parade ist jedenfalls ein Zeichen für ein weltoffenes Europa und nicht eines, das sich als Festung versteht.
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