As DR Congo marks the country’s 62nd Anniversary of Independence this Thursday, June 30, 2022, Mbilia Bel, who somehow still reigns as the ‘Queen of Rhumba,’ performs in Nairobi, Kenya, on Saturday, July 2, celebrating the milestone.
At least, sources close to the African Pop star reveals.
However, Mbilia Bel is also notorious for cancelling concerts, therefore anybody planning a weekend out on her ticket, is advised to have other options handy.
A case example being the highly touted event which was to be staged in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania, last September 2021 but which melted into thin air, without explanation.
Mbilia Bel last performed in Tanzania in 2011 for the members of the National Parliament in Dodoma towards the 50th Anniversary of Tanganyika independence.
All the same, despite being out of limelight for years, Mbilia Bel, still commands a large fan base in East Africa, beating even Faya Tess who at the moment blazes charts with renditions of old Congolese hits.
Faya Tess, on the other hand, has been making frequent trips to Kenya, courtesy of Francis Atwoli the trade unionist, who got to feature in a number of Tess records as well.
Faya Tess, (Kishila Ngoyi) replaced Mbilia Bel as lead female vocalist in Tabuley’s L’Afrisa International band, when the latter unceremoniously quit the ensemble in 1988.
Neither Bel nor Tess want to talk about the event leading to the separation, leaving barrels of rumors’ brewing in their wake.
The Nairobi show, slated for Saturday, July 2 at Serena Hotel (Venue subjected to change without notice) will be a special event in Mbilia Bel’s history as well.
Apparently this will also be exactly 40 years since Mbilia Bel debuted with a music concert in Nairobi, aboard Tabu Ley’s Afrisa International, belting Mpeve ya Longo, in 1982 then a lackluster affair.
M’bilia Bel, whose real names are Marie Claire Mboyo Moseka, dominated the music charts in Africa throughout the 80s and early 90s before her charms worn out thin.
But it was with ‘Nakei Nairobi,’ (I am going to Nairobi), released later in 1982 that Mbilia Bel officially went into business, as far as cracking the East African Music Market is concerned.
A swahili version of the song followed in 1983, praising the then Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi.
The singer, who is now 63 years old, wants to taste her Kenyan fans loyalty with the anticipated show in Nairobi, organized by the Congolese nationals, living in Kenya, as an event to mark their country’s 62nd Anniversary of Independence.
DR Congo attained its independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960, then known as the Republic of the Congo.
The Popular Congolese Nationalist Patrice Lumumba became the first Prime Minister, while the allegedly half-Chinese Joseph Kasa-Vubu took the Presidential Position.
But shortly after, conflicts ensued over the administration of the territory, creating what was to be known as the Congo Crisis.
The remnant of Lumumba’s assassinated body (just a tooth) has just arrived in Kinshasa from Belgium.