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Famous Congolese music star Edouard Nganga dies at 87

Republic of the Congo

The republic of Congo is in mourning following the death of the patriarch of rumba and Congolese music, Edouard Nganga.

Co-founder of the Bantous de la capitale in 1959, a year before the country’s independence, Edo Nganga was the last survivng member of one of Africa’s oldest musical group.

Many people across the continent have paid glowing tribute to a great son of Africa

It is with great sadness that I am commenting on his demise. When you learn that a friend or a relative has passed away it is very difficult to accept that they are no more. That's the sadness that has filled my heart. Honestly, he was a great person to be with.

I got on very well with Nganga Edo, he was my big brother, our elder brother and all the other friends of my generation. He was a gentleman, a great composer, a great singer who liked interacting with young people during my days growing up(…) I speaking about his passing with a great deal of sadness because we’ve lost someone worthy of praise; a great musician who loved people. I can reassure music lovers that the orchestra will continue his legacy” said Mermans Passy Ngongo, guitarist and member of Bantous dela capitale.

“It is with great sadness that I am commenting on his demise. When you learn that a friend or a relative has passed away it is very difficult to accept that they are no more. That’s the sadness that has filled my heart. Honestly, he was a great person to be with, a guitarist and friend of Edouard Nanga, Kosmos Mountouari said.”

“Indépendance tchatcha”, “Osala ngaï nini”, “Comité Bantou” and “Masuwa” are hit songs that have left their mark on several generations of music lovers on the continent.

In 2019, the Bantous de la capitale celebrated their 60th anniversary. On that occasion, a fascinating documentary directed by Paul Soni Benga was dedicated to the group. 

“The works created by Edouard Nganga will stand the test of time. They are immortalized! Already his work is considered timeless. Until he was 86 years old he was on stage. The last time I saw him dancing on stage was at the French Institute of Congo with the Bantous de la capitale . He was then 86 years old. Yet he had the same energy smooth voice that many admired him for all these years, director of Nganga Edo: The Last of the Bantous de la capitale, Paul Soni Benga said.

Edouard Nganga, who died on at the age of 87, was a musician from both banks of the Congo River. In addition to the Bantu of the capital, he helped in the creation of the Orchestra Ok Jazz de Franco and Negro Jazz in Kinshasa.

Laudes Martial, Africanews correspondent, Brazzaville

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