Have you ever listened to a catchy song and wished you understood the language? Franco Luambo Makiadi was one of, if not the greatest, African musicians of the 20th century. His music had people all over the continent hitting dance floors. His band TP Ok Jazz produced countless hits that people still relate to today.
One of the most recognizable songs he made was Kimpa Kisangameni.
Though catchy, the song stands out because he sang it in Kikongo, his mother tongue, as opposed to the more commercially successful lingala.
Another reason it stands out is because of the meaning of the lyrics. According to a comment made by one Nkomba Jean-Marc under this YouTube video, this was a sad song. It was more of a dirge than a feel good, laid back song.
Franco addresses his mother, hence the reason he sang in Kikongo, his mother's native language. He laments his younger brother's death in a grisly road accident. He also warns his mother that an evil spirit has entered their home, courtesy of witchdoctors who have been paid by jealous people. He alludes to his own impending death (Franco died in 1989, about 5 years after releasing this track). He implores his mother to be alert about these issues, because soon she might be left alone in the world with no one to bury her.
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