All set for Tshala Muana’s first death anniversary

Tshala Muana

Legendary Congolese musician Tshala Muana.

Photo credit: File

Sunday will be a special day for fans of legendary Congolese musician Tshala Muana, as they mark the first anniversary of her death in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

Although no major shows have been lined up in Kinshasa in her honour, most fans are expected to celebrate her music online.  The focus in Congo has been on the upcoming General Election on December 20, with some of the leading artists involved in campaigning.

Tshala, in the twilight of her illustrious musical career, has been involved in some political activism like some of her peers.

Earlier in her career, she had also campaigned for the rights of women and children in Congo, earning her the title of "Mamu Natoinale".

 She was also popularly known as the "Queen of the Mutwashi" for the hip gyrating traditional dance style of the Baluba community (Mutwashi).  Incidentally, Tshala and current President Tshisekedi come from the same populous Baluba community.

In 2020, she ran into trouble with the Congolese government over a controversial song she released online. The lyrics of the song, titled 'Ingratitude', seemed to upset some officials in the DR Congo government.  The matter was later resolved after she clarified the subject matter of the song's lyrics.  

Tshala, who died on December 10, last year, was buried the same month alongside fellow veteran musician Kiamuangana Mateta Verckys. Kiamuangana's burial in particular had been delayed since his death in October last year.  

The legendary saxophonist and producer was among the top artistes who reportedly graced a celebration of Tshala's 35th anniversary in music, held in Kinshasa in August 2013.  Others at the event included Lutumba Simaro, Evoloko Lay Lay Joker and Felix Wazekwa.

Tshala, one of Congo's best singers and dancers, was best known in Central, East, West and Southern Africa for her great songs such as Karibu Yangu, Nasi Nabali, Tshibola, "Malu" and Dezo (originally by Freddy Ndala Kasheba).  

Tshala has also recorded with other up and coming singers such as MJ Maria (formerly MJ 30 who has recorded some of her songs).