Congolese guitarist Kawele's memorable tour of East Africa

Kawele Mutimanwa

London-based veteran Congolese guitarist Kawele Mutimanwa.

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • From Nairobi Kawele will proceed to Dar es Salaam, where he built his musical career in the mid-1970s. 
  • Prior to moving to Tanzania, Kawele performed with the Vox Burundi band in Bujumbura.

Visiting London-based veteran Congolese guitarist Kawele Mutimanwa is on a tour of East Africa that will see him reconnecting with his former colleagues and fans.

Speaking to the Saturday Nation earlier this week, Kawele said he excited to be back in East Africa where he started his career, before relocating to England in the early 1990s. 

In his tour of Nairobi, among the artistes he has been teaming up with are members of the legendary Les Mangelepa band, featuring Kabila Kabanza and Kalenga Nzazi.

Notably, it was Kawele who played the lead guitar in the Safari ya Mangelepa song that the group released after a tour to Zambia in 1983. 

Other songs he featured in include Siku ya Kufa, Asumani (Orchestra Makassy), Samahani ya Uongo, Safari Sio Kifo (Tancut Almasi Orchestra) Odesia, Zoao and Harare (Orch Mangelepa). 

From Nairobi Kawele will proceed to Dar es Salaam, where he built his musical career in the mid-1970s. 

Among those he is looking forward to meeting are his former counterparts like Kelly Kanku, Tshimanga Assosa and King Kiki. 

He performed with many of these artistes in various top Dar-based groups such as Maquis du Zaire, Safari Sounds, Orch Makassy and Dr Remmy Ongala’s Orch Super Matimila band. 

Kawele, who was born in Bukavu in Eastern Congo, is from the Murega tribe same as former TPOK Jazz singer Malage de Lugendo and former Les Mangelepa band leader Bwammy Walomona. 

Prior to moving to Tanzania, Kawele performed with the Vox Burundi band in Bujumbura. Later on, in 1976, he moved to Dar es Salaam where he joined Orch Bana Ngenge Band.

The star-studded group featured the likes of singer Fataki wa Lukasa, legendary saxophone player Lawi Somana and bassist Manitsho. His musical journey also saw him perform on Nairobi with Samba Mapangala’s Orch Virunga (1983). 

Kawele’s fans will recall that it was during a tour of the USA and later UK in 1993, alongside the Super Matimila band, that Kawele opted to remain in London where he lives to date.

In London Kawele teams up with other African musicians based there like guitarist and producer Fiston Lusambo, Saidi Tumba Kanda and saxophone player Ramadhani Kayimanda. 

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.