Category Archives: Songs

Congolese songs, Congo soukous

Yamba Ngai by Mbilia Bel (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction The song Yamba Ngai was released in 1985. It was one among many songs composed by Tabu Ley and sung by Mbilia Bel. Synopsis A woman expresses her joy at getting married religiously. She discusses her emotions during the … Continue reading

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Ida by Franco and TPOK Jazz (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction The song “Ida” was the first song on Face B of the 30th anniversary album of TPOK Jazz. Released in 1986, the album was dubbled “30 ans du success”. The album featured three melancholic songs all discussing the difficulties … Continue reading

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C’est dur la vie d’une femme celibataire Lyrics and Translation

  Background In 1987, Jolie Detta who had sung on the popular album “Massu”, left TP OK Jazz. Franco recruited two musicians to replace Detta. The two were Baniel Bambo and Nana Akumu. The duo went on to sing lead … Continue reading

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La vie des hommes by Franco (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction This song was released in 1986 as part of an album celebrating the 30th anniversary of the formation of TPOK Jazz. The album was labeled 30 Ans du success and had two other songs: Ida and Celio. Franco is … Continue reading

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Le glas a sonné by Tabu Ley (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction This song was part of the Exil Ley album which Tabu Ley recorded while in political exile. He had to flee the Congo for his safety after he criticized then President Mobutu Sese Seko much to the latter’s fury. … Continue reading

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Celio by Franco and TPOK Jazz (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction The song Celio, was released in 1986. It was on side B of the album labeled “30 ans du success” and whose feature song was La Vie des Hommes album which was an album released to celebrate the 30th … Continue reading

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Nganda Tosalaka fete Lopango Batekisa (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction This song was composed by Lutumba Simaro and was released in 1983. A harmonious choral section is augmented by a typically brilliant delivery by Josky Kiambukuta who is on lead vocals. This song features an excellent interplay between the … Continue reading

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Maya by Simaro and TPOK Jazz (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction This classic hit from 1985 was composed by Lutumba Massiya Simaro, who was Franco’s trusted lieutenant. However Franco considered the song a betrayal because Simaro recorded it outside the TPOK Jazz system while Franco was away on a extended … Continue reading

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Faux Pas by Mbilia Bel (Lyrics and Translation)

Introduction This song was one of the biggest hits of the early 1980s, not just in the Congo (then known as Zaire) but also all over Africa, particularly East Africa. It was composed by Tabu Ley and delivered soulfully by … Continue reading

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Lisanga ya Bambanda by Mbilia Bel (Translation and Lyrics)

Introduction The song Lisanga Ya Bambanda (Association of rivals) was composed by Tabu Ley. Two versions of this song were produced. One was sung by Tabu Ley and the other by Mbilia Bel. Video Lyrics and Translation   Tabu Ley … Continue reading

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