Samba Mapangala releases new album

Samba Mapangala

Samba Mapangala entertains rhumba fans at Nyayo Stadium) in Nairobi in 2009.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Veteran US- based Congolese singer Samba Mapangala of the Vunja Mifupa hit song is back on the music scene with a new album titled Hekima.

Speaking to Nation. Africa, Mapangala said the album featuring the track Mapenzi Yetu will be launched online on Tuesday next week.

“With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in parts of the USA, shows are gradually getting back to normal and that’s why I have taken this opportunity to release the new album to my Orchestra Virunga fans after an almost two years break,” he said.

The new album, which will be available through the Samba Mapangala YouTube Channel, will be distributed through

Those who backed him on the new album are guitarist Jaja Bashengezi, percussionist Joseck Asikoye of the Jabali Afrika group and Peter Odhiambo.

 The recording of the album was done at Bassclef Music production Studio Bowie in Maryland USA. Notably, Joseck has previously backed Samba during music festivals in Maryland, Minnesota, New York and other cities across the USA.

In November 2019, Mapangala travelled to Paris on a recording tour shortly before the global outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. He has since then not been able to travel to Europe due to the health restrictions.

Mapangala, who lived in Kenya between early 1970s and 1999, is best remembered for his stints initially with the Les Kinois band then later Orch Virunga that was based in Nairobi.

“Kenya has always been like my second home in music, as that is where I developed my career before moving and settling in the US,” he said.

Mapangala, who has been working closely with American manager CC Smith, has also written other popular songs like Dunia Tunapita, Maisha ni matamu, Marina, and Virunga, among others. While in Nairobi he performed at the legendary Starlight Night Club and Garden Square Restaurant.

Rhumba guitarist Laptop

Rhumba guitarist Laptop.

Photo credit: Pool

Meanwhile, for rhumba music fans in Nairobi, versatile guitarist Laptop has been playing a leading role in backing various rhumba groups at spots.

Laptop (Armel Vudisa Luyalu), who is currently with the Afro Ngoma Band under leadership of Ben Hinga, has been blending well with others in the multinational band. Prior to joining the band, Laptop had stints with crooner Reddy Amisi then in Kenya with General Defao and later Vibration Musica.

The Afro Ngoma, which specialises in rhumba and zilizopendwa performs on Wednesdays at Pardus Lounge, Thika, on Saturdays and Sundays at Mugoz Choma Base, Shujaa Mall.


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