Congo-Kinshasa: Founding Mangelepa Band Member Mukala Koko Kanyinda Dies

24 October 2021

The Congolese Lingala music fraternity is mourning Mukala Koko Kanyinda, who was one of the founder members of the legendary Nairobi-based Orch Les Mangelepa band in 1970s.

The veteran percussionist and composer collapsed and died at his home in Barking East London, England, on Friday morning.

Speaking to Nation.Africa on Saturday, his fellow London-based Congolese musician, Fiston Lusambo, said Mukala succumbed to suspected cardiac arrest.

"We're awaiting details from his family after a postmortem is carried out, "Lusambo added. Until his death, Mukala was involved in music production.

Mukala was actively involved in music production. He was working on a new album alongside his London-based compatriots.

The versatile Kongas player and composer, who was in his mid 1970s, had for almost four decades lived in England with his family.

Yesterday, fellow Mangelepa band founder, singer Kabila Kabanze "Evani", eulogised Mukala as a great composer.

He said Mukala composed the debut single by the Orch Les Mangelepa, "Mbungu" and "Kijana", back in 1976.

"It was Mukala who inspired the rest of us in the quest for the production of our own music soon after we parted company with Baba Gaston, our former band leader," Kabanze recalled.

Mukala later composed the songs, "Aoko" and "Sakina", which were among the popular hits by the band.

Mangelepa competed with other bands featuring Congolese and Tanzanian musicians in Kenya in the 1970s.

Others who joined Mangelepa were saxophone player Tabu Ngongo and Badibanga wa Tshilumba "Kai Kai" (composer of the "Nyako Konya") hit.

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