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Wendo Kolosoy - Banaya Papa Wendo - 2007


Boat mechanic on Lake Congo, inevitable crooner of the African scene, author of hits that have marked the history of African music, inventor of Congolese rumba, Banaya Papa Wendo was WendoKolosoy's last recording. Released in 2007, it was made in 2004 as a result of the auCarré Festival organizing Wendo a trip to Europe to, in collaboration with Sowarex, record a CD.

In 2008 the sixtieth anniversary of his first great success, "Marie Luise", was celebrated, although he liked to remember that his musical career began at the age of eleven, when, orphaned by a father and mother, he began to sing as "the only activity that could give meaning to life ". By 1999 he had returned to the recording studios with an album, Amba, which gained international distribution in 2002.

With a hard life trajectory behind him (orphan of a hunter and of a traditional music singer, he grew up in shelters for European religious, he made a living repairing boats on the Congo River and was even a boxer from 1941 to 1946), he taught himself to play percussions, guitars, and keyboards. In 1948, together with Henri Bowane, he established the concept of Congolese rumba -influenced by Cuban music, tango or chachachá- with the recording of two essential pieces: "Marie Louise" and "Albertina". That contagious rhythm was, at first, a source of conflict for its author: Kolosoy suffered several months in prison because the authorities understood that those songs were offensive. "Marie Louise", which the Congolese described as a magic song to revive the dead, was considered satanic by the same Catholic Church. The move backfired, because Wendo's arrest helped popularize recordings of him.

His very personal voice became a standard that many in Kinshasa or Leopoldville wanted to imitate. Congo was still living in colonial times and the clubs closed at half past nine at night, but the gendarmes would let "Papa Wendo" run until much later. In those years, Kolosoy befriended Patrice Luumba, who in 1960 would be the first president of the newly born Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kolosoy stopped acting in the 1960s, but in the last decade interest in his work had been reactivated in his country and in world music circles. His story is mixed with the checkered history of his continent, much more complex than the anecdotes about him. In Banaya Papa Wendo we have part of her, possibly the last recording of this voice polished by life, by the years, hoarse and soft, wild and funny when transmitting her story, her wounds and Wendo's desire to live and sing.


Papa WendoKolosoy (voz, composiciones)

Willy MakonzoNzofu (voz)

Jean-Louis KayalaBikunda (bajo)

VulaDiankatuMissy (guitarra)

BikundaMukubueleNzoku (guitarra)

BatilangandiBiolo (trompeta)

MunangéMaproco Joseph (saxo alto)

BingaKabata Tejos (percusión)


01. Bouboul

02. Mabeley A Mama

03. Madjolé Djolé

04. Mwana Ya Moninga

05. Henriette Masembo

06. Tat Nzambé

07. Mama Monique

08. Mama Alobi

09. Bino Bananie

10. Banaya Papa Wendo

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