Monday, April 30, 2007


Bavon Marie Marie was born Siango Bavon Marie Marie on May 27, 1944 in Kinshasa, Congo. He was the type of boy who caused a little trouble but was very intelligent.
He was popular in his "Far West" district of Bosobolo. As he grew older his lifestyle grew more flamboyant, drinking heavily and bleaching his skin. Bavon like his brother the great Franco Luambo Makiadi, was a guitarist and played for a few bands before
he landed a solo guitarist spot in the orchestra Les Negro Succes. In the late 1960s he and his parter Leon Bholen became idols as leaders of Les Negro Success.

His name and legacy can never be detached from that of Franco's though by many accounts Bavon Marie Marie was just as talented as his older brother was. Naturally he was overshadowed by his brothers age, experience and greatness. After all Franco was the Grand Teacher/Le Grand Mattre of Congolese Rumba. It only made sense that as his younger brother Bavon Marie was his student. Bavon Marie's guitar technique was a more youthful, funkier version of his brother's. As I listen to "Lucie Tozongona/Lucie Come Back" (listen to Lucie Tozongana) I hear the obvious nuances he picked up from his
brother such as his sense of rhythm and how he chooses to place his guitar picks. But something is a little more spunky about it. He was like a Franco for the younger generation. His melodies and lyrics were just as infectious.

On August 5th in 1970, Bavon Marie Marie was killed in a fatal car accident. According to Frank Bessums site Musiques d'Afrique, legend has it that the fatal night began with a dispute between Bavon and Franco in which Bavon accused his brother of sleeping with his girlfriend, Lucy. And it ended with Bavon Marie Marie deceased at the wheel and Lucy with no legs. Other sources site his alcoholism and that he was upset that Negro Succes had missed a show. Either way his death is a great tragedy. We will never know what innovations he might have brought to Congolese music had he not died. May he rest in peace.

Bavon Marie Marie had a knack (like his brother) for writing songs that touched the people. On last weeks broadcast Guy played the song "Mwana 15 Ans/15 Year Old Child" a Negro Success song which is sung from the point of view of a 15 year old girl in Congo. She is sad because her family is looking to have her married off soon but she wants to go to school and grow up some more before she does that. Guy played the song in correlation with his examination of Illiteracy among the youth in Africa, particularly the girls and how it affects them socially. 30 some odd years after "Mwana 15 Ans" was released this song is still very relevant today.

Here this masterpiece here:
Mwana 15 Ans


sources for today's entry:


Anonymous said...

Thanks those were good tracks. I had no idea Bavon Marie sang "Lucie Tsozonga"

ms bazu said...

You're very welcome.

Anonymous said...

Bavon Marie Marie had NO Match in congolese music industry. For that fact he is the rhumba Legend. R.I.P
Rawlings(Kenya) said...

While I commend you for educating us about Bavon Marie Marie, I refuse to buy into your description of him as, "...a Franco for the younger generation."

If you take into consideration that only 6 years separated their ages and that they reigned within the same era, then there cannot be any justification for your description of him in that way. I think that the appropriate description is that they were contemporaries, especially for the fact that they catered to almost the same audience.

Franco was great and his living a longer life accounted for why he overshadowed his sibling who died before he even began life. They both deserve our honor and respect.
Thanks for a great job.


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Anonymous said...

I was born just in 1978, but, I cant help enjoying beautiful music played during the past. I didn't know that Bavon Marie Marie died so young and in such brutal circumstances. All in all he was just as great as Franco!

Eni said...

In my opinion Bavon Marie Marie's music was far better than Franco's music. I used to discuss Bavon's music and Franco's with an older sibling of mine and we concluded that Bavon's music had more depth than Francos and that it would endure even longer than Franco's. It is very tragic that he died a very untimely death. I often compare his death to that of Buddy Holly. Both men died before their time and musical talents had been exhausted.

mombestro serge said...

I like bavon marie marie music is the best of congolese roumba
People who play music now in congo
If they can follow that person
I think congolese music can be the best in the world.

ms bazu said...

thank you all for your comments. @leoadiele - that description was given to me by my father who lived in thysville (now mbanza ngungu) during that time. its probably best not to take it too literally but by his words those who were younger flocked more towards bavon where franco had more of the older crowd. yes they served the same era but just because they were in the same time that does not mean they didn't have more influence over certain demographics. they were both loved across the board but bavon tended to hold the younger crowds attention more, simple. thank you for reading. bless

@eni - that is definitely a debate that can be had. i find that the two of them made music that explored society but bavon might have been a little more philosophical than franco as far as subject matter.

@mombestro - we can only hope the generations to come always take a look back at the music that came before them and learn from it. bless

joe kass said...

Good work!

joe kass said...


joe kass said...

Keep up the good work.

Isurusi Yebumarachi said...

Bavon was indeed quiye talented, he died at age 26 meaning his career was very short, but he stil managed to leave us with such timeless classics as Bolingo ya telefone - R.I.P

cecil kapanya said...

He could have been the best of all if GOD could have let him breath a little longer. May GOD rest him in peace.

Anonymous said...

He could have been the best of all if GOD could have let him breath a little longer. May GOD rest him in peace.