At 85 years old this Cameroonian music legend does not seem to be slowing down.
Manu Dibango has had 6 decades of an exceptional career. To date, he still honors music as a platform to serve.
“We are bridge builders through our stories. Sixty years (of career), still means huge bridges have been built between the West and Africa, I mean ‘Africa’ in the plural sense. I consider myself lucky anyway to be able to build bridges between the two”, Dibango said.
Maybe part of your life is chasing fantasies.
So where did the gifts of dishing out authentic music come from?
“My family is Protestant. My paternal uncle played the reed organ during the time of the Germans. My mother was the choir director, I am a child raised among ‘Hallelujahs’. That doesn’t mean I’m not African, Cameroonian and all that. So I have the harmony of Bach and Handel in my ear with Cameroonian lyrics’‘, he added.
The Afro-Jazz ambassador is famed for one of the greatest hits of African music, Soul Makossa in 1972. The late Michael Jackson plagiarized him on a track of his ‘‘Thriller’‘ album.
“If you play saxophone, oops, that’s pretty black American. You’re not so African in some people’s minds anymore. So if you also play the piano, you’re in trouble. And yet there are pianos in every hotel in Africa. In all orchestras, there are guitars, things like that. So it’s fantasies that people attach to you a little. And maybe part of your life is chasing fantasies’‘, Dibango observed.
Dibango is also drawing on different genres- from reggae, rap and to electronic music. This music legend continues to blend traditional Central African rhythm and contemporary jazz notes.