Based: Cape Town
The band’s name reflects the mix of musicians, who are from all over the African continent. Although AFRO FIESTA is defined by a broad reggae afro jazz label, it’s music writhes with the strong spirit and sound of the Congo.
Mermans Mosengo Kenkosenki the founder and leader of Afro Fiesta, on his arrival to South Africa in 1998, Mermans joined the Young Bakuba Band as a drummer and bass guitar player, alternating between the two roles. After a year in the band he found that his independence and musical style were being limited and he branched out on his own as a solo artist in 1999. He was soon in demand, doing solo gigs at various Cape Town venues including Dizzy’s Jazz Café and the legendary Café Camissa on Kloof Street.
Shortly after this he decided that he preferred a band set-up and formed a new group which he called the Brothers’ Band, comprising his long time friend MC on congas and guitar and Jibriel Omonga as singer and percussionist.
The new millennium brought more changes for the band with Papi (Felix Garemua) joining as lead guitarist, Alfredo as bassist, Junior as drummer and Christian on keyboards. In 2004 Mermans knew it was time for the band to release an album and he was able to sign a deal with Mohamed Fall of Vibrations Studio. He decided to add a few more faces to his talented core of musicians and Chibo, Tentino, Mavakala, Bova and Jason joined the group. He now had a group of master musicians oozing talent and enthusiasm. He renamed the group Afro-Fiesta, to reflect the many countries and cultures of the band members
Afro-Fiesta has worked hard towards their work of art with their songs fusion various styles, incorporating Makosa, hints of Latino, Afro-jazz and Kwasa-Kwasa. They have performed at Manenberg “A place in Africa”, Mama Afrika , Moyo Spier Stellenbosch , Jazz on the Rocks festival (Musol, Vodacom and Oudemeester Brandy Sponsored) Africa day celebrations 2006, Light Festival, La med Camps Bay, Gallery Café, West End 2007.
Adding to their success is a recently signed deal with “Nokia London”, where their song Bailakwando has been used as a ring tone for the new Nokia N91 and downloads purposes. The group has established a steadily growing fan base, with many more accomplishments in store for them.