This is one of Le Grand Maitre’s most famous songs and his most powerful. It was sung in 1987 at a time when the AIDS virus was a new phenomenon, perhaps well known for only about 2-3 years. AIDS was a new disease at the time,and negligent governments provided very little information, the song was a powerful, informative and much needed message. As such the disease was spreading rapidly. The song was thus a powerful, much needed message at the time. It exhorted everyone to take the disease seriously, governments to educate the people and urged everyone to change their behaviour.
Amid beautifully interwoven guitars, Franco thunders his message like an old testament prophet telling Sodom and Gomorrah to repent or perish. Even those who could not understand Lingala or French got the message: “AIDS is serious business”.
The song was recorded in Brussels. In the Song, Franco was accompanied not by his band TPOK Jazz but by the band Victoria Eleison led by guitarist Safro Mazangi Elima. TPOK Jazz were in Kinshasa at the time.
Interestingly, Franco used the same guitar arrangements and same vocal tunes as he had used for his notorious song “Jackie” which he had sung Nine years earlier in 1978. It was the song that was considered so immoral that it landed Franco in jail along with the band members who participated. By re-purposing the song, Franco may have been making amends for his earlier error. The song “Jackie” starts at the 16:45 mark of this video.
Below is the full translation:
|Africa Music Centre|