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Issamba Showcase brings African rhythms to Victoria

World-renowned artists celebrate African culture as part of Black History Month

If you want to dance and learn more about African rhythms, you’ll want to check out the upcoming Issamba Showcase, on Feb. 17.

Issamba, which is organized by the African Art & Cultural Community Contributor Society (AACCCS), is an annual event which takes place as a part of Black History Month, with shows in Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver. It’s a collection of African musicians who show off their talent and heritage in a vibrant musical event.

“We are trying to offer a different way to showcase African rhythms,” said Pulchérie Mboussi, executive director at AACCCS. “Before Issamba, people might be used to Africa xylophones and drums in a community setting, but not really from professionals.”

This year, feature artists include Mamadou Diabate and Naxx Bitota. Diabate was born in Burkina Faso, and received professional training in Austria to play the balafon—a gourd resonated xylophone. Diabate has travelled around the world to perform, and this year will be joined by his brother Yacouba Konate, as they perform duets on a seven-foot balafon.

Montreal-based artist Naxx Bitota, born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is a singer who has traveled around the globe to perform. She incorporates her experiences in traditional and gospel choirs with Mutuashi and Congolese Rumba styles.

After these performances, there will be an Afropop afterparty with beats from Vancouver-based DJ Vinnie.

Issamba means together in the Cameroonian dialect, Beti, Mboussi explained. The Issamba Showcase is all about bringing different African artists and diverse audiences together.

“Issamba is a very different, very unique experience,” she said. “People who attend are just happy after.”

ISSAMBA Showcase will take place on Friday Feb. 17 starting at 8 p.m. at the Victoria Event Centre at 1415 Broad St.

To purchase tickets, or to learn more about other events included in the Black History Month Collection, visit

To learn more about other events held by the AACCCS Issamba Centre, including the upcoming Africa Fest in May, visit


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