Rhumba lovers mark Mose Fan Fan's second anniversary

Mose Fan Fan

Congolese music composer Mose Fan Fan who died in Nairobi in 2019. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The low-key occasion was mainly marked online, with fans enjoying his music.
  • Mose collapsed and died in Nairobi on May 3, 2019, while on a production tour of his songs.

Relatives, fans and colleagues of legendary Congolese guitarist and composer Mose Fan Fan (Se Sengo) of Papa Lolo fame on Monday marked the second anniversary of the singer's death.

The rather low-key occasion was mainly marked online, with fans enjoying his music.

Mose collapsed and died in Nairobi on May 3, 2019, while on a production tour of some of his new and old songs, including a remix of Djemelasi, which he composed in 1973 while with the legendary TPOK Jazz band.

The original song was a dedication to his Kinshasa-based partner Sidonie Djemalas.

Speaking to the Nation on Monday, Nairobi-based music producer Tabu Osusa of Ketebel Music said a remix of Djemelasi has been released online as part of the celebration of Mose's music.

"We are still working on more than 10 yet to be released tracks, which Mose recorded prior to his death. We hope to release these tracks posthumously in the near future, “ Tabu said.

Mose had been scheduled to travel to Arusha to team up with veteran Dar es Salaam-based Congolese singer Tshimanga Assosa for the recordings before he collapsed and died in Nairobi. 

Mose’s legacy

Speaking from London on Monday, Mose's widow, Angelique Bliungwa Nsanga, said she marked the day through online prayers with family members.

"Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were unable to host any function in memory  of Mose for the second year running. We instead remembered him online," she said.

Ms Nsanga said she plans to travel to Kinshasa in August to meet other family members in an effort to keep Mose’s legacy alive.

Angelique Bliungwa Nsanga

Angelique Bliungwa Nsanga widow of Congolese musician Mose Fan Fan during an interview in Nairobi on May 11, 2019 following the singer's death.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

In Nairobi, Rhumba fan and TV personality Nancie Mamafrika Elombe said the late Mose was a very professional artiste.

"He was keen on perfection and was a very resourceful musician," Elombe said.

The remix version of Djemelasi, which was released online on Monday, was earlier recorded at Mill Hill studio complex in London by Fil Rose.

Among the artistes featured in the remix are veteran Congolese singers Nzaya Nzayadio, Malage Lugendo and Gianni Manzola.

Solo career

Others are guitarists Fiston Lusambo (mi-solo), Ladi Mbala (rhythm) and Claude Mushi (bass guitar). On the drums was Padou Machine, while on Congas was Saidi Kanda.

In Nairobi, the video was produced by Pato Ondiek, courtesy of Ketebul Music.

The original Djemelasi featured the vocals of former TP OK Jazz singers Prince Youlou Mabiala, Michel Boyibanda and Lola Checain with Celi Bitshou on the bass guitar.

Mose left TP OK Jazz a few months after the release of Djemelasi to pursue a solo career, initially in Kinshasa, then later in Zambia, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and finally London in the early1980s.

In London, he formed TP Somo Somo band and worked alongside the likes of guitarist Fiston Lusambo, Saidi Kanda and Nzaya Nzayadio.

In Kenya Mose is best remembered for the hit song Papa Lolo, released in 2005, but which however went viral on the internet 12 years after it was recorded.

The song was dedicated to his son who died and was buried in his absence in Kinshasa. Mose was buried in London, where he had settled.