Photos of Franco and TPOK Jazz in the 1970s
Browse History
Genesis of TPOK Jazz
The 1960s
The Early 1970s
The Late 1970s
The Early 1980s
The Mid 1980s
The Late 1980s
After Franco
Profiles of Ok Jazz alumni

Browse Photo Galleries
1960s Gallery
1970s Gallery
Early 1980s Gallery
Late 1980s Gallery
1990s Gallery

Sam Mangwana and Lola Checain

Sam Mangwana(left) is pictured here with Lola Checain
Mangwana joined TPOK Jazz in 1972 from Africa Fiesta. A year later he returned to Afrisa before leaving for Abidjan, Ivory Coast where he was based for many years. He would return to the band on several occassions to record songs like Zala Sportiff which he composed and others composed by Simaro for which he provided the lead vocal like Mabele and Faute ya commercante
Lola Checain for his part joined TPOK Jazz in 1963 and stayed there for the rest of his career until he passed on in 1992.

Simaro Na lifelo
Simaro became the band's Chef'D'Orchestre in the early 1970s

Decca Mpudi Gege Mangaya
Bassist Decca Mpudi with rhythm guitarist Gege Yoka Mangaya performing on Zairan television in the mid 1970s. Decca joined the band in 1970 from orchestre Vedette and remained for two decades.

Wuta Mayi and Lola Checain
Wuta Mayi (Left) joined TPOK Jazz in 1974 along with Josky Kiambukuta. Both were with Orchestre Continental prior  to joining TPOK Jazz. Also in this picture is Lola Checain. This picture is from a performance of Telezaire, which was Zaire's main TV station

Abubakar Siddiki
Franco became a muslim in the mid 1970s, changing his name to Abubakar Siddiki

Franco early 1970s
By the mid 1970s Franco had established himself as the pre-eminent musician of Zaire

Josky and Boyibanda tPOK Jazz
In 1974, Josky Kiambukuta (right) joined the TPOK Jazz frontline where he teamed up with Michaux Boyibanda (left) who had been in the band since 1963. Josky joined from Crchestre Continental

Wuta Mayi TPOK Jazz
Also joining from Orchestre Continental was Wuta Mayi a singer composer, whose hit song Ayant Droit was one of the biggest hits in Zaire in the early 1980s

Ndombe Opetum youlou mabiala
By the mid 1970s, TPOK Jazz had established itself to the point that they could recruit  the best musicians. Pictured here are Ndombe Opetum who joined from Afrisa singing with Youlou Mabiala. Behind them is Mi-solo guitarist Mavatiku Visi Michelino who joined from Afrisa

mose fan fan
IMose se Fan Fan played solo guitar alongside Franco in the early 1970s. He and Franco played in tandem. Fan Fan's popularity surged when he composed hits like Djemelasi and Mongando
He introduced a faster guitar style he called Sebene de ba yankees, which became immensely popular with the public

Bavon Marie
Franco's younger brother Bavon Marie Marie who led a band called Orchestre Negro Success where he played with saxophonist and best friend Rondot Kassongo. Franco initially tried to discourage Bavon from pursuing music as a career. But the stubborn Bavon persisted. Bavon died in a car crash in 1970 at age 26

Rondot Kassongo
When Bavon died, Rondot Kassongo joined TPOK Jazz he would later become very close to Franco and the equivalent of his personal assistant.