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Giant of African music: Olomide, Angelique Kidjo mourn Manu Dibango

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The world of music is still in shock after the announcement of the death of Cameroonian afro-jazz icon Manu Dibango.

The celebrated global saxophonist is celebrated for his exceptional blend of jazz, funk and traditional west African styles. His 60-year career ended when he succumbed to COVID-19 at age 86 in a Parisian hospital.

The entire French Africa region is reeling with his loss, with condolence messages from Presidents of Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Gabon. Also in the Democratic Republic of Congo, fans have been paying tribute to the legendary saxophonist.

For his part, Congolese musician Koffi Olomide said: “Everybody knows, his song that was plagiarized by the great Michael Jackson “Soul Makosa”, everybody knows that, but my throat is tight because life is strange, life is really strange, Manu Dibango today is no more.”

Manu Dibango is remembered as a legend who put African music on the world map and inspired many artists including the likes of Benin’s grammy award winner Angelique Kidjo, she described Dibango as the original giant of African music.

For his part, Prof. Yoka, Director of the Congolese National Arts Institute said: “He had great hope for Africa, especially in terms of copyright, in terms of neighbouring rights, he had great hope for Africa. In terms of aesthetic innovation too, because that’s what’s most lacking today.”

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