Soukous star Kanda Bongo Man, “Music is one of the most valuable resources Africa can export”

Exclusive interview with veteran African musician and King of Kwassa Kwassa: Afronews

Africa is rich of natural resources which are constantly exploited and exported. But there is one which the continent is yet to appreciate and benefit from – African music. Kanda Bongo Man, a veteran African musician based in the UK, holds that African music is one of the most valuable resources the continent can export. African music, he says, is “just as valuable as natural resources such as diamonds and minerals.” 

Kanda Bongo Man revolutionised soukous music in the late 1980s. His style of dance “Kwassa Kwassa” made him a darling of soukous music fans across Africa and beyond. In this dance which earned Kanda Bongo Man the accolade “King of Kwassa Kwassa”, the hips move back and forth vigorously while the hands move to follow the hips.

Kanda Bongo Man is an exciting stage performer, capable of attracting huge crowds and breaking down the barriers between him and fans, making them sing and dance with him.

Kanda Bongo Man’s performances are fast moving and a captivating combination of music and dance. This in fact, made a famous Kenyan Rumba musician, the late Ochieng’ Kabaselleh, introduce a common phrase in his songs: “Hapana Kwassa Kwassa wazee, peleka pole pole” (It’s not Kwassa Kwassa, dance slowly), to remind his fans to take it easy and dance majestically to his music.

Kanda Bongo Man’s famous hits such as “Sai”, “Isambe”, “Liza”, “Zing Zong”, “Ekipe” and “Iyole” became infectious, and dominated airwaves in most African countries in the 1990s. The songs could be heard in pubs, discos, public transport vehicles, public gatherings, etc.  In this exclusive interview with The AfroNews, Kanda Bongo Man, for the first time, denies rumours that he was deported from Kenya in the 1990s because he had an affair with Ms. Catherine Kasavuli, a news anchor, who was alleged to have an affair with the then President of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi.

Read the exclusive interview on Afronews:

Kanda Bongo Man: African music as precious as diamond


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