Tuesday, May 29, 2007


As I stated in the last entry I have been kinda busy these passed couple of weeks, with my own music and making mixes for my upcoming birthday party. The last show was a repeat of a previous show that dealt with Women's rights and Illiteracy and I already blogged on that episode. The episode before that one I had only gotten half of the show and Guy played songs exclusively from the blog. Those songs have been blogged about already so I took the opportunity to concentrate on those other things.

Today is infact my birthday. I am 25 years old today! But instead of asking for gifts from you all I will be giving one out. As I previously stated I have been making mixes for my birthday party and it was only right that I make a nice mix of some of my favorite Congolese songs. 3 of the songs are actually not Congolese but i thought they would be nice to throw in as well.

It is all one mp3 timed at approximately 75 minutes
here is a tracklist

01 one love - sara tavares
02 amapondo - miriam makeba
03 yamba yamba - abeti masikini
04 save me - et mensah & the tempos
05 ede - mpongo love
06 pas possible maty - mpongo love
07 la fleur botoko - le ochestre viva la musica
08 lossikiya - gaby litas & stukas du zaire
09 youyou - franco & ok jazz
10 petit cheri - youlou mabiala & kamikaze loningisa
11 mindondo - empire bakuba
12 business before pleasure - tchico tchicaya
13 eswi yo wapi - mbilia bel
14 bina na ngai na respect - franco & ok jazz

I hope you enjoy. I'm off the enjoy my birthday, PEACE!

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Well it's Communion season and Guy has been invited to yet another. As a result Tambour d'Afrique will be a rebroadcast. Sorry for the lack of blog updates this week. I've been in the studio working on a CD (I rap) and haven't been focused enough of the blog. I will bring you some treats later in the form of MP3s...stay tuned.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Sunday Nite Videos...on a MONDAY MORNING

Yesterday after posting a blog entry I went to the Haitian Day Parade of Unity here in Spring Valley, NY. There is a very large Haitian community here so the event drew a lot of people. Guy's sister Dr. Danielle A. Bright, who passed last year due to cancer, was honored by both the town and HAPA (Haitian American Parents Association), the organization that she birthed some 16 years ago. It was a very nice event and it was great to see so many happy faces celebrating their HAITIAN-NESS (the word is made up but you get me lol).

Anyhow when I got home I forgot ALLLL about Sunday Nite Videos so I will bring to you some videos today...

This next video is one of the few songs I remember vividly from my childhood. Me and my older sister loved this song. I've seen it labeled 'SVP MBEY' (Sil Vous Ple?). I love this performance. I love to see how the audiences reacted to the music back then.


I've been listening to this next song a lot lately...


The sound quality is poor on this one but the performance is fantastic. You can hear a better version of the song here:

Faux Pas

both videos courtesy of INNOSITA


Sunday, May 20, 2007

TAMBOUR d'AFRIQUE...last night

So come to find out the show DID indeed air last night. Due to some miscommunication I was under the impression that Guy would not make it back to NY in time for the show. Guy called me at close to 11pm last night (halfway through the show) and let me know he was INDEED doing the show. He had called waaay before that but somehow I missed the call. So I scrambled to record the show and was able to get the last hour of the show. Here it is for you to enjoy:

Stay tuned for Sunday Nite Videos later on...


Saturday, May 19, 2007


Tambour d'Afrique will not be airing tonight. Stay tuned next week for a brand new episode. In the meanwhile let's talk about the term SOUKOUS.


Soukous is now just another term for "Congolese Music" whereas before it was a dance and sound from a particular era. This particular era birthed new and exciting turn for Congolese music though. There was a noticeable break from traditional rumba melodies and rhythms replaced by more traditional Congolese sounds and harmonies mixed with other genres of music like Soul & Funk.

The Late 60s, early 70s saw the introduction of a more pronounced SEBENE. As was stated in a past entry the sebene was reminiscent of a musical train. The drum beat out a repetitive pattern while the guitarists let you know the train was coming. The 1st and 2nd solo guitarists would 'combat' each other with notes both complimenting each other and competing with each other for the spot light. Pepe Felly is credited for popularizing this sound during his reign as Zaiko Langa Langa's lead guitarist. They were hip and exciting when they arrived on the scene and their dance moves which they let loose over the Sebene had a lot to do with that.

Another star of the Soukous Era is Gaby Lita Bembo and his orchestra Stukas du Zaire. Gaby Lita, as front man, was Mr. Excitement. He was known for his sharp vocals and inventive dance moves. Here he is singing Nale with his band:

This whole entry is inspired by a particular Stukas song, Lossikiya. I've been listening to this song a lot lately. It is very indicative of its time and is a superb example of Soukous. Guy has played this song on the show in the past. The song is about a man who is asking a woman by the name of Lossikiya for her hand in marriage. He's waiting for her answer and is stressed out. The sebene in this song is phenomenal to me (has that train feel I was talking about earlier) along with the lyrics to the song and the Ekonda vocal stylings. I love it.

Sorry for not having a show tonight. Guy had to be out of town but there will definitely be a new show next week so tune in. And thank you for your continued support of the site and radio show. PEACE

Monday, May 14, 2007


In the year 1956 Abeti Masikini was born in Kisangani, Congo (DRC). For the first 9 years of her life her father gave her organ lessons. She would later sing with the Church of Kilomoto and at family festivals. Her drive for singing came from her admiration for French vocalist Edith Piaf. Abeti wins a talent show, singing interpretations of songs by Piaf, and her other idols Miriam Makeba and Mireille Matheiu. Her victory makes her known through out Kinshasa. She becomes known as "the Nightengale of Zaire".

In 1971 she meets Togolese Producer, Gerard Akueson. Akueson Sets up studio time to work with Bella Bellow, a Togolese artist that he was producing for.
She very quickly becomes a personality in the African music scene with her "soukous parfume'"(scented soukous) which would be described as Rumba impregnated of Congolese folklore. In 1972 she is invited by Bruno Coquatrix to perform at his venue, L'Olympia.

Read the history between Gerard Akueson and Abeti Masikini in this Preview of 'Rumba on the River: A History of Popular Music of Two Congos' (by Gary Stewart) from Amazon.com: Abeti & Gerard

Le Tigress, as she was dubbed, performed at Carnagie Hall in front of 3000 people, 400 of which were ambassadors of the U.N. in 1974 thanks to the notoriety of her album 'Bibile' and the coaxing of Gerald Akueson. In 1988 she performs at The Zenith in Paris and then embarks on a world tour, which finds her in China at the time of the Tien An Men Square protests, in 1989. In 1991 Abeti's life comes to an end in Paris, France. It is rumored that she passed away due to AIDS. Abeti's ability to evoke the traditional folklore of her native Kisangani through soukous and charismatically win the hearts of so many people worldwide through her performances has earned her place in the constellation of Congolese stars. R.I.P. Tantine...

I will leave you with two songs from Abeti Masikini. These two examples show how avant guard Abeti was as an artist. Her experimentation with Soul on Gogo and her perfect interpretation of kompas/zouk over digitized sounds on Je Suis Fache show her exceptional talent as interpretor of lyrics through song. She sings in her native dialect on Gogo. On Je Suis Fache she switches back and forth between French and her native tongue (pardon me as I do not know the name of the language). Listen for yourself here.


Je Suis Fache

information for today's entry from:


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Nite Videos...

Sorry so late. I was spending Mother's Day with family. I thought I would have time to post up some videos earlier but I got caught up in enjoying everyone's company. Overall it was a great day.

On Saturday evening's broadcast, as I mentioned, Guy named a few female artists that took the Congolese Music scene by storm. One of the first female artists to do so is singer Abeti Masikini. Tomorrow I will have more to say about her. Until then watch her in action. This is her in the 80s (She started out in the early 70s). I don't know the name of the song (yet) but I will be sure to find out. If anyone knows it feel free to leave the title in the COMMENTS section. It's a really nice song and I love Abeti's charismatic approach to singing and performing. She is truly a star. Enjoy the clip

Recap of Last Night's Show...

Last night was a replay of a previous show. It was the broadcast that aired the week following the Pepe Felly interview. On this show Guy played selections from Franco and Zaiko Langa Langa. He also introduced us to a few female artists, Abeti Masikini, Mbilia Bel, Mpongo Love & Tshala Muana. He and Pierre Mbala speak on discrimination towards women in Congo and in the world in general during the segment "Afrique En Review". Over the week I will be covering the topics touched upon in last night's show since this show aired before the blog began. So the show is a repeat but this week will be all new commentary so stay tuned and thank you for your continued support.

Here is an MP3 of last night's show:

And as always stay tuned for Sunday Nite Videos...



Saturday, May 12, 2007

Tambour d'Afrique 10pm Est Tonight...

What time does Tambour d'Afrique aire where you are??

New York (New York) Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 10:00:00 PM
Port-au-Prince (Haiti) Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 9:00:00 PM
Chicago (Illinois) Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 9:00:00 PM
Los Angeles (California) Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 7:00:00 PM
Kinshasa (Congo Dem.Rep.) Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 3:00:00 AM
Paris (France) Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 4:00:00 AM
Mumbai (India) Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 7:30:00 AM
Tokyo (Japan) Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 11:00:00 AM
Sydney (Australia) Sunday, May 13, 2007 at 12:00:00 Noon

When the right time comes go to RADIO TRIOMPHE and enjoy the show. PEACE

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Fall of the "Community"

As time as moves people are constantly going through changes. In the last few hundred years we have seen technology advance at a very drastic speed. Particularly in recent years. As more technology develops the demand for resources to keep that technology going increases. Naturally as this becomes more and more true for most of the world this speed in technological advances effects people's lives. Particularly those located where these resources are found. Whole cultures have been dramatically changed by this.

Even here in America you can hear people talk about 'The Good Old Days' when the community spirit was much stronger. In places where people can not even afford the technology that they work so hard to keep running, as is the case in much of Africa, Asia and Latin America, the shift in culture hits hard and swift and leaves a sort of confusion that is a bit unique from the situation in the states. In America it's different because American culture has been built on the ideal of money and colonialism. In 'developing' areas The struggle between what once was and what has to be because they have no control is constantly causing conflicts large and small.

One of the smaller conflicts is that of the loss of communal spirit due to the restraints of work and money. Where it was once customary to show up in any village and expect to get fed, have a place to sleep and bathe, accepted with open arms, this can no longer be accepted in an urban society. A society in which you work like a dog to get just *enough* for you and yours. In this new society it would be rude to show up at a person's house (especially where there are children) and expect to be fed. With money being the only way to get food and seeing as though money is so hard earned yet still scarce, this is an understandable shift in culture. Bavon Marie Marie & Les Negro Sucess see it as a negative shift and sing to us how they feel about this loss of community within African culture. On the song Maboke Ya Cherie they sing about a man who has 5 kids and he has to count the pieces of meat he has and can't share. Even with him AND his wife working he doesn't have enough to feed an unexpected guest. Times have changed. Particularly in places like Kinshasa where there are large populations of people. Much of the original culture has practically disappeared.

residential downtown kinshasa circa 2006 (picture courtesy of the blog Eye on Africa)

We must remember too that this song only talks about a small portion of the drastic changes that have come about due to these great advances in technology. There is constant war and famine across the globe among the 'have-nots' all so that the 'haves' may have there technology. Where ever there is a need for charity there has always been a presence of exploitation already present. Control over the resources are taken from the people then 'given' back to them in small portions and at a very high price. Just a reminder to make sure to maintain a level of compassion in your life. Don't let the race for money change you to a level where you have no heart and all you see is money. So many people are dying everyday because they don't have money to feed their families or they live in places where money is worthless and will never see the luxuries we have, those of us who are able to sit in front of a computer right now. Give thanks.


Almost forgot today Guy's daughter, and my little sister, turns 10 years old today. Happy Birthday Zynia, enjoy your day Big Girl :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Les Bantous De La Capitale

Across the river from Kinshasa is a city, the capital of The Republic of Congo, Brazzaville. Musicians traveled frequently between the two cities and Brazzaville even served as an asylum for some artists who were exiled for some period of time from Congo-Kin due to lyrical content.

This sister-city is the home to Les Bantous De La Capitale. This band is one of the many offshoots of OK Jazz. Founding member of OK Jazz (along with Franco) Jean Serge Essous, a gifted saxophone and clarinet player, left OK Jazz for African Jazz before founding Les Bantous De La Capitale with Congo-Brazzavilians De La Lune(also a founding OK Jazz member), Celestine Kouka and Edo Nganga in 1959. Like most of the other Congolese bands, Les Bantous De La Capitale has had several band members come and go. Among them, vocalists Tchico Tchicaya, Kosmos Kapitza, Pamelo Mounk'a, and guitarists Papa Noel and Samba Mascott.

There is a distinctness to Le Bantous' sound that I can't quite put my finger on. Someone more versed in musical terms would probably be able to describe it but they made great music and are definitely one of the best bands of their time. There is a certain freshness to the vocal performances (especially where Tchico Tchicaya is featured as his voice is very unique and easy to spot), the melodies, harmonies and lyrics, that pull in the listener. Guy played a great example of this on last weeks broadcast, Isabelle. Isabelle is about a man who finds out a girl he was in love with left for the other side of the river, Kinshasa. He heard that she had gotten married and he's not sure if it's true or not but the news hurts him. He misses Isabelle. Tchico Tchicaya sings lead on this song.

Another is El Mancero-Mayeya. I haven't any idea what the song is about because it is sung in Spanish but the composition is fantastic. On some parts of the song it sounds as though they have incorporated "Guantanamera" into the lyrics. It's a really nice song from a great band. Enjoy the sounds.


information for today's entry taken from:


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Tambour d'Afrique Get's A Face Lift...

It took me all day but I finally found a template that wasn't as boring as the last one but not too busy. Although the show and blog is called TAMBOUR (which means drum in french) d'Afrique I thought the guitar image in the background was just as appropriate as maybe a drum because of it's prominence within ya miziki ya Congo. I SCOURED the internet for an African themed template but to no avail. I would design one myself but I'm HTML illiterate so I searched and searched until I found Final Sense.

I must say I'm really loving the new look. I hope you all enjoy it too.

I will have a REAL blog entry tomorrow. Until then...PEACE :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Raoul Peck & Lumumba...

On the last broadcast Guy spoke on a friend of his who goes by the name of Raoul Peck. Like Guy, Raoul Peck is a Haitian man who grew up in Congo. His family was displaced to Kinshasa by the Duvalier regime in the early 60s where his family, among 600 others including the Angrand's, sought asylum. He went to school in Kinshasa, Brooklyn, France and then finally Germany where he got his degree in engineering. He then came to New York where he became a cab driver as he awaited acceptance into film school in Germany in 1984. Read more about Raoul Peck and his achievements here:

Raoul Peck

And here is a review of his award winning film LUMUMBA:
Raoul Peck's ‘Lumumba:’ A tale of human suffering, sacrifice and hypocrisy
By Elombe Brath, Haiti Progres, Vol. 19 no. 14, June 20–26, 2001

Watch the trailer for LUMUMBA here:

the movie was filmed in French and Lingala and unfortunately this trailer has no subtitles but you can get a sense of the film and how powerful it is through this trailer...


In bringing up Raoul Peck and his making of the film 'Lumumba' one must have an idea of who Patrice Emery Lumumba is. Taken from Wikipedia:

Lumumba was born in Onalua in the Katakokombe region of the Kasai province of the Belgian Congo, a member of the Tetela ethnic group. Raised in a Catholic family as one of four male children, he was educated at a Protestant primary school, a Catholic missionary school, and finally the government post office training school, passing the one-year course with distinction. He subsequently worked in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) and Stanleyville (now Kisangani) as a postal clerk and as a travelling beer salesman. In 1951, he married Pauline Opangu. In 1955, Lumumba became regional head of the Cercles of Stanleyville and joined the Liberal Party of Belgium, where he worked on editing and distributing party literature. After traveling on a three week study tour in Belgium, he was arrested in 1955 on charges of embezzlement of post office funds. His two-year sentence was commuted to twelve months after it was confirmed by Belgian lawyer Jules Chrome that Lumumba had returned the funds, and he was released in July 1956. After his release, he helped to found the non-tribal Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) in 1958, later becoming the organization's president. Lumumba and his team represented the MNC at the All-African People's Conference in Accra, Ghana, in December 1958. At this international conference, hosted by influential Pan-African President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Patrice Lumumba further solidified his Pan-African beliefs.

Read the rest of his life in detail here: PATRICE LUMUMBA

What is the significance of Patrice Emery Lumumba to Black/African peoples worldwide 47 years after his death? The great teacher, Dr. John Henrik Clarke a year after Lumumba's death wrote a fantastic article that explains Patrice Lumumba's importance to the global liberation movement of Black/African peoples.

The Passing of Patrice Lumumba by Dr. John Henrik Clarke

Find more info on Patrice Emery Lumumba from the site Africa Within: Patrice Lumumba

Featured in the 2000 film, Lumumba, was the song "Independence Cha Cha" by Le Grand Kalle et L'African Jazz. I linked it before but here it is again...
Independence Cha Cha

I will also leave you with the song "Bana Ya Lipopo" which means Children of Lipopo aka Leopoldville (now Kinshasa). Tabu Ley sings "Na kende mboka ya Lipopo, Ba tata ba mama ba zongi Lipopo, ba yaya ba leki ba kiti Lipopo..." I'm going to the city of Lipopo, Mothers and Fathers are going back to Lipopo, Siblings old and young are leaving for Lipopo... This song reminds me of the Haitian exodus to Leopoldville/Kinshasa in the early 1960s that the Angrand and Peck family took along with so many others. I love it. I hope you enjoy it too...until next time PEACE

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sunday Nite Videos...

Franco & TP OK Jazz clips seem to popping up like crazy on Youtube.com over the past few weeks. Just today I saw maybe 7 clips I hadn't seen before and I check for new clips pretty regularly. Thanks again to the people I mentioned before who continuously bring us these timeless footage.

On last night's broadcast Guy played a very special song. Kinsiona by Franco. This song is another one of Franco's very personal songs (Attentiona Na Sida and Kinshasa Mboka Ya Makambo being two others). April 30th I blogged about Franco's brother, Bavon Marie Marie who was killed in a car crash. This song Kinsiona was written for Bavon Marie Marie. It is sung in Kikongo. Though it is full of grief and sorrow it is a beautiful song. In this clip (brought to us by youtube.com user rahndi) Franco sings Kinsiona for a crowd in Holland (1987).

This next clip is the reason why I love You Tube. It's a clip of a Congolese songstress by the name of Vonga Aye. According to the comments left by some of the You Tube users, Vonga Aye was discovered by Empompo Deyess and just like his earlier discovery, Mpongo Love, she is physically challenged. What struck me most though is that she also shares a similar captivating quality to her predecessor in both vocal performance and presence.
Thanks to You Tuber, Innosita, I am able to bring you this clip:

Have a good evening, PEACE...

Tambour D'Afrique Recap...

Last night once again the show aired with no problems. My recording of the show however is missing the first 5 minutes. I was returning home from visiting with family and cut it really close. But as a consolation here is a link to the first song that played in the broadcast
"PETIT CHERI" by Youlou Mabiala & Kamakazie Loningisa. This song must be enjoyed in its entirety :)

Guy covered the following subjects on last night's show:

*film maker Raoul Peck and his film Lumumba.
*hospitality within African culture and how the economy has changed the way we interact with each other as a result. (correlated with a Negro Success song)
*Franco and his special dedication to his brother Bavon Marie Marie.

I will incorporate these subjects into blog entries over the next week so stay tuned. Until then you can enjoy the show again and again:


Sunday Night Video later...


Saturday, May 5, 2007

Tambour D'Afrique Tonight...More Franco

Tune in, 10pm Est @ www.radiotriomphe.com

Tonight Host Guy will be playing selections from Les Bantous De La Capitale, Ochestre Bella Bella, Negro Sucess, Zaiko Langa Langa and more Franco et Le Tout Pouissant OK Jazz.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Empowerment in Literacy.

Having children has always been a matter of economy. When you have children one has to think of whether or not the child can be fed and also what can this child bring to the family by way of support. Here in the United States parents worry more about if their children will be able to support them when they get old. While in developing countries it is more likely that the child will have to essentially support him/herself by working. My cousin said something wise to me the other day as we discussed sports and getting children involved in sports or other interests. I said to him that I thought it was a good idea to get kids involved and try to see what they'll enjoy whether it be sports or music/art. He said "children are an investment...with all the money you spend on kids you have to get them into something so the money comes back." So basically it is no wonder why so many parents think along the lines in which I was thinking. Many would love for their child to be the next big childstar like Michael Jackson was or a genius in some other sport like Tiger Woods with golf or Venus and Serena Williams with tennis. The dreams are more lofty here in America for obvious reasons. This after all is the Land of Opportunity. In developing countries however for many gaining the mere skill of reading and writing is a dream in and of itself.

The Global rule is reading and writing will lead to better job opportunities.. It allows you to get the degrees necessary to move upward in society. In today's world depending on where you live access to learning is more than most of the working poor can afford. Many families work extremely hard just to be able to send one of a handful of children to school. In many cultures around the world the choice comes down to the simple matter of sex. Girls are not just discouraged from education but kept from getting one outright. Boys are seen as more suited for education as it would allow them to bring home the money. While the girls are raised to be wives and mothers. This practice can lend itself to abuse in many cases where families are desperate they may marry their girl children off to grown men for the money they could receive in return.

In developing areas throughout Asia and Africa this is all too common. Young girls worldwide on autopilot, doing what society wants them to do. Their creative and intellectual drive is being suffocated. What can reading do to lift a girls self esteem? Read this article from the Lutheran World Relief website. I'm not the biggest fan of missionaries but this article gives great insight into how reading brings hope to girls and women in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Opening Books Opens a Whole New World: Literacy Program Empowers Women in Democratic Republic of Congo

I will leave you with the song
Education Injustice by Empire Bakuba
Pepe Kalle sings on the state of education in the Congo

Sorry I took so long in between entries. I make my own music and I've been working on that lately and lost track. I still aim to bring new entries as frequently as possible. Thanks for staying tuned...And remember tomorrow night Tambour D'Afrique airs on Radio Triomphe...PEACE