October 12, 2008

19 Years

Today I would like to dedicate a few posts to the memory of one of Africa's Greatests: Franco Luambo Makiadi. Exactly 19 years have passed since Franco passed away in a hospital in Namur, Belgium (and not in Brussels as the article on the right states).

It didn't come as a great surprise to us who had seen him three weeks before in the Melkweg. A shadow of his former self, even compared to the thin figure we had seen in January. It hurt to see a man we had come to love and admire battle with his own mortality (and even when I write this I am reliving the pain of that night).

In retrospect it is said that he predicted his own death, in "Kimpa Kisangameni", recorded and released in 1983. Ntesa Dalienst (who unfortunately is also no longer with us) explained to us the meaning behind the words. Ntesa's explanation (in French) can be heard at the end of this YouTube clip.

Translation:
He asks his mother to open her eyes. The sorcerer is entering into the family to eliminate everyone. Bavon Marie Marie has gone, if mother doesn't take care they'll all go, and you will be left. And who is going to bury you?
That's what Franco was saying to his mother.
So: "Kimpa Kisangameni".... so, "sorcery has entered into the family / there are people that want to hurt us / Mama, open your eyes / if not, you will be left on earth, with no sons to bury you".

And unfortunately that's what has happened: Bavon Marie Marie is gone and Franco too has gone and Mama was left behind.

Here is the audio (and stereo) version of Kimpa Kisangameni, taken from the lp "Chez Rythmes et Musiques à Paris" (Edipop POP 032).

4 comments:

mercy said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Is it my fault you stopped posting ? Accept my apologies . Please come back to posting . Give my life meaning again.

-PTCN

WrldServ said...

@PTCN: I am sure there must be more to life than these posts (?)...

Steeven said...

Man Franco made some great songs though some were contreversial though he was a legend. Man, Franco was great.