Cameroonian afro-jazz icon Manu Dibango dies of coronavirus


Cameroonian afro-jazz icon Manu Dibango dies of coronavirus

Franco-Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango performs late on July 15, 2011 in Quebec City during the 43rd Quebec City Summer Festival. PHOTO | SEYLLOU | AFP  

Cameroonian afro-jazz icon Manu Dibango has died from coronavirus (Covid-19), his family has said.

The family made the announcement in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who died from Covid-19 on March 24, 2020, aged 86.”

“His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organised when possible,” read the statement posted in French.

The saxophonist, songwriter and singer was on Wednesday last week admitted in a French hospital for a different disease when he contracted the virus, his aides said at the time.


The government is yet to issue official statement on the demise of the jazz maestro.

Dibango’s biggest hit was the B-side of a song to support the Cameroon football team in the African Cup of Nations but was picked up and popularised by New York DJs.

His hit song ”Soul Makossa”—produced in 1972—is said to have influenced Michael Jackson’s ”Wanna Be Starting Somethin’” which was the opening track of the American’s famous album ”Thriller” of 1982.

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