Bongo Love formed in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, a collaboration between John Mambira and Nhlanhla Ngwenya. When Nlhanhla relocated to the UK, Themba Mawoko was recruited for the lead marimba, Trymore Jombo for mbira and Mpho Mambira for the baritone marimba.
"Afro-coustics" is the unique sound created by musicians whose foundation is rooted in the instruments, songs and musical traditions of their homeland yet still have absorbed and been moved by a wide spectrum of influences ranging from Afro pop to Reggae. With more than 5 languages spoken since childhood, their song list and set moves effortlessly through Shona, Ndebele, Zulu, Swahili and English.
Since moving to Harare from Bulawayo in 2005, the fabulous quad has gone from playing mostly private functions to performing in some very popular clubs in Zimbabwe's capital, putting on a stellar show every time and winning over countless audiences.
Climbing fast in popularity, they were invited to teach and perform in Mozambique, Sweden and the Dominican Republic, leading to their first major tour of the United States in 2007. During the tour, they taught and performed in Seattle, Santa Fe, Boulder, Boston and New York, joining the indie band 'Dispatch' for three sold out shows at Madison Square Garden to top it all off.
In the fall of 2008, they toured in support of the indie rock band “State Radio” led by Chad Stokes of “Dispatch”. It was a tire-blistering trip of 20 shows in 13 states covering nearly 15,000 miles. Once again, they continued to impress audiences and forge friendships at each and every opportunity, beginning first with arriving in the country just in time to play at a bar mitzvah for a devoted fan, perform in Oregon with Zimbabwe’s legendary Thomas Mapfumo, appear in a feature on CNN and depart home just in time to headline the Ibumba International Festival in their hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
While the political situation in Zimbabwe rages on, the members of Bongo Love continue to share a message of love and hope through their heart-warming music. They are set to return in late spring of 2009 to prepare for a summer and fall tour of festivals, workshops, and performances on both coasts, once again reuniting with old fans and friends while looking forward to making new ones along the way.