Manu Dibango celebrated sixty years of his musical career in Abidjan on Friday.
At 84, this legend of African music made a successful return to this city which saw his maiden entry into the world of music. The concert attracted nearly 1,200 spectators at the congress center of the Ivory Hotel of Abidjan.
The famous saxophonist dished out some of the crowd’s favorite songs including ‘‘Soul makossa’‘.
60 years for Manu Africa music and 60 years of music, 60 years of career... it's a huge music library that is there with us and I think it's normal that we celebrate today and really it's a pride not only for Africa but for all those who love music.
“You’ve seen the impression no, I’m very happy tonight and I wish it to other artists to already reach 60 and then to be loved by an audience and by the artists”, Dibango said.
Other artists were grateful for his contribution to African music.
“It is true that we owe him a lot on the African and artistic level but that he returns in Ivory Coast to celebrate his 60 years I believe that he too is showing us all his gratitude”, said fellow artist Aîcha Koné.
For artist promoter Blondy Angui, the celebration of Dibango is long overdue.
“Sixty years for Manu Africa music and 60 years of music, 60 years of career… it’s a huge music library that is there with us and I think it’s normal that we celebrate today and really it’s a pride not only for Africa but for all those who love music”, Angui said.
The Artist lived in Côte d’Ivoire in the 1970s where he conducted the orchestra for the nation’s state radio and television network for several years.
A movement that has seen the emergence of great names in African music like Salif Keita, Amadou and Mariam or Mory Kanté.
Forty years on, Manu Dibango remains an icon for his generation, and a model for the new wave of African musicians.