The origins of Kizomba

The Kizomba is the result of evolution. It describes both a musical style and a type of dance. The word Kizomba means “party” in the Kimbundo language, one of the most widely spoken in Angola among the Bantu ethnic group. The Kizombadas in the 1950s referred to a great festival, although there was no link with dance or music as we know it today.

Angola dance

Traditional dances such as Semba, Kabetula, Kasukuta, Maringa, Caduque, Rebita, Cidralia and Dizanda were the predominant ones at that time. Most of these dances are typical carnival dances. In Luanda, the Angolan capital, you can see almost all these dances during the “Carnaval da Victoria”, which together with the Lobito carnival of Benguela Province, perform these popular dances.

Angola dance

In addition to dancing in Angola, the Kizomba is also danced in other Portuguese-speaking countries such as Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, East Timor, Brazil and the territory of Macao.

However, its popularity is also growing rapidly in the Western world and is now well known in Portugal, UK, France, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Luxembourg, USA, as well as in some Eastern European countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Serbia.


Some of the most important festivals of Kizomba are: Afro Fever, Africadancar, Budapest Kizomba Conexión, Batuke!, Estonia Tallinn, Afro Festival Costa del Sol and Sensual American Festival.

Cultural influences

The influence of the Angolan Kizomba is felt in most Portuguese-speaking African countries, but also in Portugal (especially in Lisbon and the surrounding neighbourhoods, such as Amadora or Almada). The music kizomba of Santo Tomé is very similar to that of Angola, Juka is one of the most outstanding artists of the genre.


In Angola, most of the clubs are located in Luanda. Some of his most famous musicians are: Neide Van-Dúnem, Don Kikas, C4 Pedro, Calo Pascoal, Irmãos Verdades and Anselmo Ralph, among many others, but Bonga is probably Angola’s best-known artist, having helped popularize the style in Angola and Portugal during the 1970s and 1980s.

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