In the early 1990s, Faya Tess now took center stage following the
departure of Mbilia Bel. Also featuring for the band was Faya's sister
Efomi Mondjoy, known by her stage name Beyou Ciel. Shaba kahamba was now
chef d'orchestre. Other band members were vocalists Djeffard Lukombo,
Dodo Munoko and Wawali Bonane Bungu. Guitarists Huit Kilos and
saxophonist Modero Mekanisi.
Tabu Ley in California USA
In the mid 1990s,
Tabu ley briefly left his Paris base and settled in southern California.
He signed a deal with Rounder records and & found success with the release of albums such as Muzina ,
Exil Ley , africa worldwide and and Babeti soukous. Exil Ley was
in reference to the fact that he was now an exile from Zaire since he
had criticised president Mobutu Sese Seko. The best song on the Exil Ley album was clearly "Le Glas a Sonne". In the song Tabu Ley talks about how his country used to be prosperous before it was destroyed by corruption and infighting. He sings about the greatest sons of the Congo/Zaire, mentioning Lumumba, Kasavubu, Kimbangu, Tshombe and Franco. Notably he deliberately avoided mentioning Mobutu who was still president at the time.
Tabu Ley goes gospel with Muzina
Muzina was Tabu Ley and Afrisa's
greatest hit of the 1990s. Though it is a popular dancehall and
party hit, most people outside the Congo do not realize it is
actually a gospel song. In Muzina, Tabu talks about his lifelong
faith in God which he says has existed since his childhood while
also making references to sorcery which reflects the fact that
Congolese society is deeply steeped in witchcraft.
By the late 1990s Afrisa International was still
going strong despite the fact that it had lost most of its pre-eminent
stalwarts. Among the new members of the band included his son Tabu Etire,
a new female vocalist Kizita Yal
as well as 2 Americans, instrumentalists Aaron Cross and Martin Flores.
He was now beginning to tailor his music towards an International
audience by including more English lyrics and by increasing more
international dance styles such as Samba.
Babeti Soukous, Africa worldwide, Tempelo
His album Africa worlwide
features some of his most sensational hits played to new dance styles.
When President Mobutu was dethroned in the late 90s, Tabu ley
returned to Kinshasa and took up a position as a cabinet minister in the
government of new President Laurent Kabila. Following Kabila's death,
Tabu Ley continued in the same capacity under new President Joseph
In 2006, Tabu Ley teamed up with long time counterpart, the versatile
Maika Munan to release what would appear to be his last album. The
album called 'Tempelo" has several well arranged songs in his classic
soukous. His daughter Melodie performs the R&B-inflected "Move Around,"
as well as a duet with her father. called 'Bebe'.
The death of Tabu Ley
In 2008, Tabu Ley suffered a stroke that left him mostly bed-ridden. While receiving treatment for the stroke, he passed away on November 30 2013 at 9:00 am. He had been receiving treatment at St Luc Hospital in Brusells Belgium