Posted by: wildsidezambia | August 10, 2011

Tonga music fills the Royal Albert Hall in London

by Michael Baird
The Kalumbu is ancient traditional music-bow found in Zambia only amongst the Tonga and Ila peoples.
Zambian-born musician and record producer Michael Baird first recorded kalumbu-player extraordinaire Enock Mbongwe in 2002, and again in 2008 ( ). Enock hails from Hangoma village, Magoye Area in Southern Province of which Livingstone is the capital.
 In 2010 BBC Radio 3 asked Michael to organize music for their program about the Zambezi river – Enock was agreed upon as the only solo artist on a list of several acts. Subsequently last February the BBC invited Enock to perform in the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and Michae was asked to bring Enock to London. No easy feat: Enock had no phone, no email, no bank account, no passport.

"Hey, look who's here!" Enock recognizes a statue of David Livingstone in London

 But once all obstacles were overcome, Enock Mbongwe performed the first ever Tonga music in Britian, to a rapturous applause in a sold out Royal Albert Hall live on BBC Radio 3 on 23/07/11 (Human Planet Prom part 1), and the tv broadcast on BBC Four on Friday August 5th.
The kalumbu is also found in eastern Angola. It is the original instrument that got ‘exported’ with the slaves the Portuguese shipped off to Brazil where it is known as the berimbau.


  1. The article you wrote is very good.

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