Veteran France-based Congolese musician Bopol Mansiamina is due to be buried next Tuesday in his home town, Evreux, France, where he died last Sunday morning.
Bopol, composer of the Pitie hit song, had been ailing for almost four years since suffering a stroke.
According to a tentative funeral programme released by his family on Thursday, there were to be funeral gatherings yesterday and today at the Town Hall of Saint Sebastien, Mendes in France. On Monday evening, there will be another funeral gathering at Guichainville in northern France to culminate in his funeral and burial ceremony on Tuesday at the Evreux Bd Cemetery.
Speaking to Saturday Nation on Thursday, his counterpart Nyboma Mwandido confirmed he would travel to Evreux alongside others to join the deceased’s family.
Nyboma is expected to be accompanied by his former counterparts in the Paris-based Les Quatre Etoiles (4 Stars band) mercurial singer Wuta Mayi and guitarist Syran Mbenza. Others are Loko Massengo and drummer Komba Bellow,
Also eulogising Bopol were US-based singer Samba Mapangala and Mekanisi Modero. Samba cherishes the guitar backing of ‘Bopol during the recording of his Vunja Mifupa song.
Modero recalled having played alongside him in Tabu Ley's Afrisa International from 1974 to 1976. This was when Bopol played mid-solo and rhythm alongside Lokassa ya Mbongo in the band.
Prior to joining Afrisa International, Bopol had performed with groups such as Orchestre Bamboula (featuring fellow guitarist Nedule Papa Noel), Dr Nico Kasanda’s African Feista Sukisa Band and Continental Jazz.
Other popular compositions by Bopol through his Mode Succes band include Manuelä, Belinda Helena and Samedi Soir.
In Kenya veteran broadcaster Fred Machoka is this weekend expected to lead tribute shows for the fallen icon through the Roga Roga shows on Radio Citizen and TV,
Machoka recalled the support Bopol gave him when he had gone to Kinshasa to attend the burial of former TP OK Jazz singer Pepe Ndombe Optum in May 2012.
Others expected to dedicate shows to Bopol this weekend are Francis Luchivya (Milele FM), Haggai Isanya (Mulembe FM), and Simeone Mfumu Kimbangu (KBC Radio).