Congo-Kinshasa: Tributes Pour in for Rhumba Maestro Lutumba Simaro

Lutumba Simaro

As messages of condolence continued to pour in following the death of Congolese music legend Lutumba Ndumanueno Simaro Massiya, his family was yet to firm up his funeral arrangements with his burial expected in a fortnight.

Speaking to the Nation from Paris on Sunday, his son Salomon Lutumba said they were waiting for directions from the DR Congo government before announcing burial plans.

"As of now, we're not sure of the exact date. His body will be flown to Kinshasa until we hear from the government," he said.

In Paris, Salomon was flanked by the widow, Mama Hellen Nkeleni, sisters Laura and Sylvie and brother Robert. Their eldest brother, Jean Claude, is in Kinshasa co-ordinating arrangements at their family home at Linguala.

FUNEREAL ARRANGEMENT'S

Also speaking to the Nation from Paris on Sunday, Nyboma Mwandido said he would be visiting the Congolese Embassy to discuss Lutumba's funeral arrangements.

"We will be in a better position to know the way forward after liaising with his family and the DR government," he said.

London-based veteran guitarist, Mose Sengo Fan Fan, is also expected in Paris on Tuesday to join the Congolese music fraternity and well-wishers in condoling with the family.

CLASSIC HITS

In Nairobi, Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli and veteran radio personality Fred Obachi Machoka have both hinted at travelling to Kinshasa to attend the burial.

Mr Lutumba, who passed on in a Paris hospital on Saturday morning, is set to receive a State funeral, considering his remarkable contribution to the Congolese music industry.

The former long-serving vice-president of Franco Luambo Makiadi's TP OK Jazz band was fondly known as 'Le Poete' (the poet) for his music composing prowess, and also 'Boabab'.

He is remembered for some of his classic songs such as Cedou, Mabele, Maya and Testament ya Bowule.

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