LONDON — Mama Jumbe’s, a hub of African culture that combines a restaurant serving gourmet African staple dishes with an offering of late night entertainment, has just carved a niche on the London African live entertainment scene.
By Our Correspondent
Terrence Jumbe, owner and manager of the Newham-based venue, has announced an artists’ residency programme that brings top-performing musicians and comedians to the United Kingdom from different parts of Africa.
The eclectic roster of performances kicked off this month with Brian “Buula” Mugenyi, an accomplished Ugandan saxophonist and singer-songwriter, who is based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has just wrapped up his residency at Mama Jumbe’s and even managed to squeeze in an impromptu performance at Ronnie Scotts, London’s world-famous jazz venue.
“We’ve got an exciting line-up over the next few months and next up is Zimbabwe’s edgiest comedian, Q Dube, who has already taken up residency for the rest of this month and brought the house down with his maiden show last week on Saturday,” Jumbe said.
Fast on the heels of the comedian will be Kenyan Afrosoul songstress Dela, whose hit Mafeelings is currently buzzing throughout Swahili-speaking East Africa. Zimbabwe’s leading female Afrojazz sensation Edith WeUtonga and Ugandan luga-flow rapper Mun-G complete the line-up announced so far.
Although these artists are relatively unknown to international audiences, they represent Africa’s fresh talent and are well-known and followed among their national diaspora communities in London and across the UK. A number of popular, upcoming UK-based performers are also lined up to perform alongside the resident artists over the coming months.
“Much of African live music in London comes courtesy of one-off summer music festivals, such as Womad,” Jumbe explained, “But during their residency, our artists will typically perform four or more shows at Mama Jumbe’s while staying at the Duke of Fife Hotel, which is just upstairs.”
The dancefloor and stage at Mama Jumbe’s is located downstairs from the restaurant. Much like the iconic Jazz Café in Camden, which is adored by patrons for its sheer intimacy. Mama Jumbe’s dancefloor and stage allow performers and fans to interact up close, making the experience especially personal and memorable.
“With the rise of Afrobeats into the mainstream global pop scene, African music as a whole has benefitted greatly.
And our clientele of young professionals of African heritage and those who love African culture generally can now have an intimate concert experience that can’t be matched anywhere else in London, at a fraction of the price,” Jumbe said.
With the new artists’ residency initiative, Mama Jumbe’s has come into its own as an oasis of African cuisine, fashion, music, art and literature in the heart of East London. Each year, the venue also hosts African independence parties for all of the continent’s 54 countries.
The restaurant opens for food and drink service from 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 3pm on Sundays, morphing into a music and dance venue from about 11pm. For more details on the upcoming shows, visit the website; mamajumbes.com