[Today in History] November 30th


2012 – At least 32 people are killed in a Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane operated by Trans Air Congo crashes 850 meters short of runway 5L of the Congo’s Maya-Maya Airport in Brazzaville

2013 – Tabu Ley Rochereau dies in Brussels, Belgium.

Le Seigneur est mort… Vive le Seigneur!


ImageTabu Ley Rochereau, a legend of Congolese music, passed away on Saturday 30/11/2013. These are 10 of my favourite Tabu Ley’s songs. May he rest in peace…

  1. Femme d’autrui: I only discovered it one Summer in 2003 in Brussels while in a friend’s car and the words spoke to me at a time when other guys were trying to snatch my then girlfriend (now wife). The rhythm section is so funky, the guitar simply hypnotic and Tabu Ley’s vocals from tenor to baritone simply owns the song and takes you to heaven.
  2. C’est comme ca la vie: Arguably, this is his best song lyrically and melodically, but my favourite edges it for personal reasons.
  3. Sarah:Omona wapi divorce basala feti, ba imprimer ba cartes ya invitations batinda na batu, basepela ba langwa, ba bina po batu mibale ba kabwani. A 11 minutes tirade about the joyless proceedings of…

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Remembering A Congolese Rumba King


tabu ley rochereau
Tabu Ley Rochereau performing at a 2003 festival in Hertme, Netherlands.

By Anastasia Tsioulcas – NPR

One of Africa’s biggest hitmakers, Tabu Ley Rochereau, a star with a honeyed voice who went on to become one of the continent’s most successful music impresarios, died Saturday. He never truly recovered from cardiovascular problems two years ago, and died at a hospital in Brussels after being admitted with an infection.

He was born Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu in either 1937 or 1940 (sources differ) in a small village in Bandudu province in what was then still the Belgian Congo and is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. He became one of Africa’s most prominent musicians — dubbed “the voice of lightness” for his effortlessly sweet tone — and along the way was one of the pioneers of Congolese rumba, the dance music that managed to meld the sounds of a Cuban bandstand with…

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