What you need to know:
- Dekula relocated from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Sweden in 1991.
- He is best remembered as a solo guitarist with the Dar-based Maquis Original band.
Stockholm-based Congolese musician Dekula Kahanga Vumbi is among the leading African music artistes who have resumed live performances in many parts of Europe after the long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to Saturday Nation earlier this week, Dekula said live shows had begun picking up since July 9, when the Swedish health authorities gradually eases the health protocols.
”With the resumption of live shows, it has also given us an opportunity to interact with most of the fans having been kept away from them for quite a while,” he said.
Dekula, an accomplished guitarist, composer, singer and producer, is currently based at Little Nairobi Club in Stockholm.
Dekula recalled having hosted ODM Party leader Raila Odinga at the Little Nairobi in 2010.
‘‘It was an honour to have him at the club alongside Kenyan and other African music fans living in Sweden,” Dekula said.
Dekula, who relocated from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to Sweden in 1991, is best remembered as a solo guitarist with the Dar-based Maquis Original band.
He recalled having joined the Maquis band in 1986 where he played alongside veteran guitarist Nguza Viking, Ilunga Lubaba, veteran singer Tshimanga Assosa and Issa Nundu.
After Nguza left the Maquis band in 1987, Dekula rose to be the main solo guitarist with the group. Notably he played the solo guitar on Assosa’s Ngalula hit song which was released in 1988. Besides playing on other Maquis band songs, he also toured with the group outside Tanzania to Muscat, Oman among other spots.
During his initial years in Sweden, he teamed up with other African music stars who were based there like Ugandan singer the late Sammy Kasule and Gaby Nkomba Kababa (formerly of the legendary Dar-based Safari Sound band).
Dekula also played the solo guitar on the Sina Makosa remix version by Tanzanian singer Cool James (Mtoto wa Dandu). Dekula’s own compositions include Sultan Qaboos (2001), Opika (2019) and his latest Coltan Sounds.
During live shows at Little Nairobi, the Dekula band performs in Kiswahili, Lingala, French and English. Other group members are guitarists Göran Larsson Joseph Iluba drummer Michigan Ngoy Eddie (Congas), Henrik Westerberg (saxophone) and singer Gaby Nkomba Kababa.