[Today in History] November 30th


2012 – At least 32 people are killed in a Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane operated by Trans Air Congo crashes 850 meters short of runway 5L of the Congo’s Maya-Maya Airport in Brazzaville

2013 – Tabu Ley Rochereau dies in Brussels, Belgium.

“Ngungi” by Tabu Ley & Franco

I missed the commemoration of Franco last month and this month it’s been a year since Tabu Ley left this world. So here’s one of the great collaboration of two congolese artists of legend. If you can, buy this album. Only 4 songs but damn good songs!

Title: Ngungi
Artists: Tabu Ley Rochereau & Franco Luambo
Album: Omona wapi
Year: 1976


Nazoki molangi eh (I am wounded by a glass)
Nga mwana maman (I am telling you)
Napesa nzoto nanga na Nzambe (I have given by body to God)
Mosolo nakoliaka se na nzembo (I feed myself through music)
Mopepe nga nako pemaka oyo ya bato nyoso (I breathe the same air as everyone else)
Mosuni ya nzoto naga suka ya elengi (My flesh is sweet to (the flies), or people love talking about me)
Moto nyoso ako luka kaka à goûter maman (Everyone want to taste it)
Luambo eh eh

Po na nini mosuni ya nzoto ya mwana ya moto (Why is it that someone’s flesh)
Bolingi bolia yango lokolo mosuni nde ya nyama (You want to it it like meat from an animal)
Bokokende na yango wapi na Kinshasa oyo (Where are you going to take it in Kinshasa)
Botika asala, asala a koba (Let him work, work and carry on working)
Bolingi nini na nzoto na ye bandeko (What do you want from him?)
Ley, yamba nalembi bato oyo eh Ley (Sing, Ley, I am tired of these people)

Kinshasa makambo eh (Kinshasa has problems)
Ngai mwana ya maman (I am telling you)
Nasi na mesana na kotongo (I am used to gossips)
Matoi emesana na koyoka (My ears are used to listening)
Nzoto ekoma libanga po na masolo ya bato (My body has turned into a rock because of these talks)
Nalandaka te, Nzambe (I don’t care about it, God)
Luambo alanga nzembo (Luambo, a musicien)
Nasala nini eh ye ye ye eh (What have I done?)

Check out Lingala institute for more Lingala Lyrics

[Today in History] November 13th


1940 – Pascal Emmanuel Tabu Ley aka Tabu Ley Rochereau is born in Bagata

[Documentary] Soul Power – Zaïre 1974 (2008)


Le Seigneur est mort… Vive le Seigneur!


ImageTabu Ley Rochereau, a legend of Congolese music, passed away on Saturday 30/11/2013. These are 10 of my favourite Tabu Ley’s songs. May he rest in peace…

  1. Femme d’autrui: I only discovered it one Summer in 2003 in Brussels while in a friend’s car and the words spoke to me at a time when other guys were trying to snatch my then girlfriend (now wife). The rhythm section is so funky, the guitar simply hypnotic and Tabu Ley’s vocals from tenor to baritone simply owns the song and takes you to heaven.
  2. C’est comme ca la vie: Arguably, this is his best song lyrically and melodically, but my favourite edges it for personal reasons.
  3. Sarah:Omona wapi divorce basala feti, ba imprimer ba cartes ya invitations batinda na batu, basepela ba langwa, ba bina po batu mibale ba kabwani. A 11 minutes tirade about the joyless proceedings of…

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Remembering A Congolese Rumba King


tabu ley rochereau
Tabu Ley Rochereau performing at a 2003 festival in Hertme, Netherlands.

By Anastasia Tsioulcas – NPR

One of Africa’s biggest hitmakers, Tabu Ley Rochereau, a star with a honeyed voice who went on to become one of the continent’s most successful music impresarios, died Saturday. He never truly recovered from cardiovascular problems two years ago, and died at a hospital in Brussels after being admitted with an infection.

He was born Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu in either 1937 or 1940 (sources differ) in a small village in Bandudu province in what was then still the Belgian Congo and is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. He became one of Africa’s most prominent musicians — dubbed “the voice of lightness” for his effortlessly sweet tone — and along the way was one of the pioneers of Congolese rumba, the dance music that managed to meld the sounds of a Cuban bandstand with…

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