The Crowned Queen of Mutuashi dance style, Tshala Muana is no more.
The charismatic Congolese songstress, passed away in Kinshasa, DRC early Saturday Morning of December 10, 2022.
Until now, Tshala Muana was one of the few remaining African Female Musicians, others are Mary-Claire Mbilia Bel of the former Afrisa International fame and Theresia Kishila Nkoyi (Faya Tess), who continues to record.
Tshala Muana who died at 64 is officially known as Elisabeth Tshala Muana Muidikay.
Also known as ‘Mamu Nationale,’ Tshala was a composer, singer and dancer from Congo-Kinshasa.
Later she was given the crown of the ‘Queen of Mutuashi’, traditional dance music from her native Kasai region.
She is leaving behind a total of 20 albums and a string of fire hits including the three Kiswahili songs, one being her own composition, ‘Karibu Yangu’ released in 1988, which was very popular in East and Central Africa.
Like Mbilia Bel, Tshala Muana started out as a dancer for the legendary Congolese singer Abeti Massikini.
Tshala Muana also re-recorded two pop songs that were originally from Tanzania.
‘Dezo-Dezo,’ a song about a man who only loves free things and favours, is one of the two covers that Tshala Muana picked from Tanzania.
Dezo-Dezo was originally composed by Fred Ndala Kasheba, a Congolese guitarist who moved to Tanzania in the 70s, playing with bands like Orchestra Safari Sound, Maquis Original, Zaita Musica and Le’ Capitale (Wazee Sugu).
Even the other song ‘Kokolay,’ which Tshala Muana covered from Tanzania, was also the composition of Ndala Kasheba.
Muana was speculated dead in June 2020 but turned out that she was actually admitted in hospital having suffered a stroke.
Later in November 2020, she was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), for a song which irked the authorities in DR Congo.
The hit ‘Ingratitude,’ was widely circulated over social media.
It was about a ‘dim’ student who doesn’t pass his exams, and whose teacher nonetheless pushes him onto the next grade.
But having excelled, the student turns against his teacher.
Somehow the song was interpreted by many to be an attack on President Felix Tshisekedi, who turned against his former mentor and predecessor, President Joseph Kabila