For Africa’s Largest Country, “The Nation’s Mom” Is A Sassy Chanteuse

January 8, 2010 at 9:21 am | Posted in Africa, Congo, music | Leave a comment
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by Tripatini staff

The above tune, Mbombo, is a typically bouncy, colorful, shimmying piece of ear candy from a woman who’s been one of Africa’s most popular and iconic singers of the last quarter-century. Hailing from Congo, the enormous Central African country reflagged as Zaire for three decades under dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, 51-year-old Elizabeth Tshala Muana is widely known as “Mamu Nationale” (Mom of the Nation), and has even served as an adviser to the country’s current ruler, Laurent Kabila. On the music front, this grandmother of six is also dubbed the “Queen of Mutuashi” (mutuashi is Congo’s Afro-Cuban-influenced dance music), but after more than 30 years in the biz she’s toned it down considerably from the days when on stage she’d throw in generous dollops of “almost half naked” writhing, as one Ugandan newspaper put it. Sure, Mamu’s been at it a while, but she’s obviously still got it…you go, girl!

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