Remembering Mose Fan Fan of ‘Papa Lolo’ hit song

Mose Fan Fan

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

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Arrangements are underway to mark the second anniversary since the death of Congolese legendary guitarist and composer Mose Fan Fan (Se Sengo) of the ‘Papa Lolo’ hit song fame.

Mose, who collapsed and died in Nairobi on May 3, 2019, was on a production tour for some of his new and old songs including a remix of  ‘Djemelas’ which he produced while with the legendary TP OK Jazz band in 1974.

Bambino Djemelas Sengo

Bambino Djemelas Sengo, daughter of Mose Fan Fan who lives in Paris, France.

Photo credit: Pool

Speaking to Saturday Nation yesterday Nairobi - based producer Tabu Osusa said they would release the remix of “Djemelas” online on May 3 as part of the efforts to celebrate Mose's music.

In Kenya it was the “Papa Lolo” hit song which he released in 2005 which has turned out into a perennial household hit song. The song was dedicated to his late son who was buried in his absence in Kinshasa. Mose had settled in London, England where he was buried.

 Sidonie Djemalas.

Ms Sidonie Djemelas,  Mose Fan Fan's first wife, whom he dedicated a song to.

Photo credit: Pool

“We plan to release the song as part of the unreleased tracks Mose had been working on prior to his death in Nairobi,” Osusa said.

The song is a real time dedication to Djemelas who was Mose’s first wife and whom they later had a child Bambino Mose Djemalas who now lives in Paris, France.

In a recent interview, Sidonie Djemalas recounted her long association with Mose whom she first met while she was still a student in Kinshasa.

 “We often liked going to watch the TP OK Jazz band rehearsing under Franco Luambo Makiadi where Mose Fan Fan was a guitarist,” she said.

However, she also recalled how her father, who was a prominent government official in the then Mobutu Sese Seko regime, had restricted her from going to watch concerts.

Mose’s closeness to Djemelas resulted in the song which featured the vocals of former TP OK Jazz singers Prince Youlou Mabiala, Michel Boyibanda and Lola Checain.

Youlou was among those who joined Mose in a short lived splinter session group.

A few months after the release of the “DjeMelas” song Mose left TP OK Jazz to pursue a solo career in Kinshasa then later to Zambia, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and finally London in the early 1980s.

While in London, he formed the TP Somo Somo band alongside guitarist Fiston Lusambo, Saidi Kanda and singer Nzaya Nzayadio.

Kanda Junior

Singer and dancer Kanda Junior performs in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

Meanwhile, popular dancer and singer Kanda Junior is back to online shows. Kanda, who had earlier taken a break due to the restrictions over the Covid-19 pandemic, now interacts with his fans through online shows.

He previously performed on Fridays at the Muthiga Inn Country Club past Kinoo on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway.

Speaking to Saturday Nation earlier this week, Kanda was optimistic that he would also resume live shows by June if the pandemic situation will have improved.