The Independent (Banjul)

18 March 2005

Gambia: Ndongo Lo Memorial Charity Launched Today

Banjul — "Kul'lu naffsin zaa'ikhatil mawti: Whoever lives shall die", the Quran says. This, Ndongo knew but he never knew that come his death, his deeds will keep him living in the heart of not only family, friends and fans but also those who never heard of him. Two young Gambian music promoters Dj Njag's and Dj Abdou Njie, friends of the late artist, have decided to organise a charity festival in memory of the artist not only in The Gambia, but Senegal, Europe and the USA.

On January 16th 2005, Ndongo Lo a thirty-year-old young Senegalese artist passed away. That day, the nightingale stopped singing as it was called upon by the poignant sentence of fate: death. But for artists though mortals, this sad journey end is diluted as they defy time through their works, which makes them immortals. Ndongo's formal 'resurrection' comes with this big concert organised in the Smiling Coast.

Ndongo Lo's band, Groupe Jamm will be playing in the Gambia from today 18th March to the 21st March with a number of Senegalese and Gambian artists. This memorial festival according to the organisers will become an annual festival and will be celebrated around the 17th of January each year to remember the artist.

The lead vocalist of Groupe Jamm will be Birane Dieng, a backing vocal of the Super Etoile of Youssou Ndour. Artists have been rehearsing with the band as each of them will be singing one of the late artist's songs from the latter's debut to his last album Aduna.

A song is at this stage being worked on in memory of the late artist.

This show according to organisers is an opportunity for Gambian fans to present their condolences. That is why the concerts' tickets have been made accessible to all.

Renowned Senegalese artists as Falou Dieng, Salam Diallo, Papa Ndiaye Ngewel, Papa Ndiaye (dancer), Aliou Kasse, Aliou Mbaye Nderr, Mapenda Seck, Abdou Guiteh Seck, Secka (Leumbal Narr), Soda, Amie Kolleh Jeng, Tenor, Sing-sing sisters, Bala Gaye (2 wrestler); Gambian artists like Sambou Suso, Mam Tamsir Njie, Abdul Kabir Ngum, Pa Omar, Machu B, Mbaye Gaye and many others will be present. It has been indicated that Pape Diouf will not be able to make it due to other engagements.

On Friday, the artists will play at Jaama Hall, on Saturday 19th March at Jokor Brikama, Sunday 20th at the Teranga Beach Club and on Monday 21st March at Destiny's Night Club.

All fans of Ndongo Lo and Mbalakh should come out in masses and contribute to the celebration of the two countries' sisterhood. See you all there.

"People have lived hundred years without being acknowledged in the world, ..., the most important is to fully live his/her life and leave behind something beautiful for posterity", said Ndongo. This, he has achieved today as his last album deals on themes for humankind to reflect on forever.

According to the organisers, a certain percentage of the charity concert revenue will go to the artist's family.

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