Rhumba lovers celebrate Franco Luambo’s 31st anniversary

Legendary Congolese Rhumba maestro Luambo Luanzo Makiadi who was popularly known by the stage name Franco.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • With most live concerts still suspended most the artistes are more focused online shows and studio rehearsals.
  • In Kenya most FM radio and TV stations featuring rhumba music have this week honoured Franco by playing his music.

From Monday this week fans of the legendary Rhumba maestro Franco Luambo Makiadi globally have been celebrating the 31st anniversary of his death.

Despite a low key celebrations this year due to the Covid -19 pandemic most of Franco’s fans have taken to the social media recollecting some of his favourite songs.

Franco, who led the legendary TP OK Jazz band, is reputed for his rich discography having a musical career that spanned from 1956 until his death at a Belgian hospital in October 1989.

Some of his well now songs include “Azda”, “Mario’: “Matata ya mwasi na mobali ekoki kosila te”, “Makambo ezali Minene” among others.

Though most of the original members of the TP OK Jazz band have since died, some of the surviving former members include singers Josky Kiambukuta, Youlou Mabiala, Sam Mangwana, Wuta Mayi, Lokombe Ntal, Malage Lugendo, Nana Akumu amongst others.

Notably Josky and Youlou have been kept off stage due to ill health. Both have a vast discography having recorded with the band.

Other former members of the band living in Europe include guitarists Dizzy Mandjeku, Nedule Papa Noel and Michelino Mavitiku.

With most live concerts still suspended most the artistes are more focused online shows and studio rehearsals.

In Kenya most FM radio and TV stations featuring rhumba music have this week honoured Franco by playing his music.

Among those on the frontline in Kenya in club veteran Fred Obachi Machoka ( Citicen Radio and TV), Hagai Isanya (Mulembe FM) and Simon Mfumu Kibangu (KBC Radio) .

For rhumba die hards Gedion Omwono, Mombasa -based Imelda Akinyi, Geoff  Ba’ Mukubwa Luyuku, Sammy Wamuri and veteran promoter DS Njoroge it has been a week of listening to the best of Franco’s music.

Samidoh (Samuel Muchoki Ndirangu). He is known for popular hits such as ‘Murata wa Ngai’, ‘Wendo wi  Cama’ and ‘Tuhii Twitu’.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Meanwhile, Clinton Hotel in Kikuyu, Kiambu County, is on Saturday set to host a major musical party by Kikuyu benga musicians to celebrate the reopening of pubs. The show will feature a performance by mugithi maestro Samidoh.

Notably Samidoh (Samuel Muchoki Ndirangu) is known for some of his popular ‘Murata wa Ngai’, ‘Wendo Wi Cama’, ‘Tuhii Twitu’

Other artistes expected at the show include Man Kamaa, Man Key, Sister Lucy amongst a host of other artistes.

The chief guest will be the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Irungu Kangata, who is also Murang’a senator. Notably he has been in the frontline of encouraging up and coming musical talent.

The show is expected to start at 7pm until dawn.

 angaira@ke.nationmedia.com