If I were to describe Mozambique with just a few words, Marrabenta would definitely be one of them!
The energetic combination of traditional Mozambican rhythms and Portuguese folk music, that brings both children and grandparents to the dance floor. Or I might as well say: the rhythm that turns the entire country into a dance floor.
The development of the Marrabenta music does in a way reflect parts of Mozambique’s historical timeline – with influence from traditional orchestration, Portuguese colonial rule, liberation and communist Cuba, as well as rock and pop from the western world. Naturally, it ends up being an important part of the Mozambican identity.
People often tell me: You can’t leave Mozambique without knowing Marrabenta. And as everyone proudly show me how to dance and play Marrabenta whenever the chance appears – I should be able go back to Norway as a true Mozambican: joyfully dancing with a colorful skirt around my hips and with a catchy melody roaming from my lips!
As Marrabenta is such an important part of the Mozambican culture, a very own Marrabenta festival is arranged every year – giving people a chance to dance and sing until sunrise with the presence of great Marrabenta artists. This years festival took place on various stages in and around Maputo – starting at the beautiful train station in downtown Maputo, followed by the wonderful Marrabenta Train that delivered dancing and singing to Marrabenta lovers in the small town Marracuene!
In true MOVE-style – the Marrabenta festival left me with great memories from a beautiful meeting of people, music and dance!