zaterdag 31 juli 2010

Emile Kangue - Emebe Jean Marie 1981

'Coyote' and 'The Hunter' are two of the nicknames of Jean-Marie Emebe, Cameroons former welterweight boxer. Born on the 17th of August 1955 in Boalando, Jean-Marie started as judoka before he switched to boxing. Soon it became clear that he was a very talented boxer and in 1979 he became African Middle Weight Champion in Senegal,by defeating his opponent Richard Ofusu from Ghana by K.O.

This title inspired Emile Kangue, the former Black Styl singer to write the following hymn for the new African boxing champion.   The song was released as a 12 inch maxi single on the 'Africa Oumba' label. Although it is certainly not the best song that Emile Kangue recorded, it deserves a post because it remembers us of a great Cameroonian athlete.

Listen to it below....
♫ Audio 1981: Emile Kangue – Emebe Jean Marie

By the way Jean-Marie Emebe's biggest fights took place in 1986 and 1988 when he challenged the ruling light heavywight world champions in those years. In 1986 he lost the fight from ruling champion Marvin Johnson in the thirteenth round after intervention by the doctor. In 1988 he got another opportumity, but lost from Virgin Hill by K.O. in the eleventh round.

Hoigen Ekwalla (15/6/59 - 23/10/08)

          Today 'Coupe-Decale' rules the African dancefloors in the Francphone world. In the mid-eighties artists like Moni Bile, Guy Lobe and Charlotte Mbango among others did the same with their New-Wave Makossa songs.
Although I already started to listen to African music in 1981 after a visit to Kenya, it took four more years until I bought my first Makossa record. It was Hoigen Ekwalla's  album "Ndutu / Bila o diba" that made me a real Makossa-fan.

Born on 15/6/1959 in Bonatéki a quarter in Douala as Ekwalla Mpouli Eugėne, Hoigen Ekwalla recorded his first album "Ndolam" in 1982. More records followed and in 1988 he received a "Disque d'Or" for his album "Chat botté". In 1994 he became Artist of the Year in Cameroon with the album "Mon amie". His latest album "Tendresse" was released in 2000. In 2003 Ekwalla became more and more frustrated by the lack of protection against piracy in Cameroon and became a business man. But since his real passion was music he never gave up music and in 2008 he was working on a new album. Unfortunately he was forced to stop this work because of health problems. After a two weeks stay in the Lanquintine Hospital in Douala he died on the 23th of October 2008. That day Cameroon lost a great singer and composer.  
♫ Audio:  2000 Bila o diba
♫ Video Clip:  1991 Femmes il faut supporter
♫ Audio:  1986 Minya


dinsdag 20 juli 2010

Toto Guillaume

Toto Guillaume: Master & Mystery
It’s almost impossible to speak about Makossa without mentioning the name of Toto Guillaume. Whether it is as guitarist, songwriter, arranger or as producer, his name is strong connected with four decades of Makossa history. Every Makossa aficionado will admit his role as key figure in the development of Makossa, but at the same time Toguy has always remained a mystery for his many fans. He never speaks to the media and apart from a clip of his hit song Dibena on CTV dating from 1985, one will find nothing about the man on internet.

The legendary discretion of this man comes from a distance. According to one of his childhood friends Dina Bell, in the early 1970s Guillaume Toto Nkake was already an elusive boy: "He lived with us at the time of the Black Styl. I often accompanied him to the Davoum Bar where the group was performing. He did not like to hang out after playing. He was much calmer than I was. "

Even at the height of his notoriety, while stacking the tubes with the Black Styl or solo ("Dibena", "Nguila Nyama", "Ngon'a Ndongo", "Isokoloko", "Songa la Modi" O si banga mba "," Elimbi na ngomo "," Na sengi miano "), Toto Guillaume was not a man to put himself in the foreground.  No trace of an interview in the dailies and weeklies of the years 1970 and 1980.

Toto Guillaume started to play guitar as schoolboy. He played in several school bands before joining the legendary Black Styls in 1972. The next year Toto Guillaume writes a letter to Sono Disc in Paris, with the question if the company is interested in recording some of there songs. Sono Disc agrees and at the end of 1973 they record eight songs. The company chooses the songs ‘Na bolone ndol a ngo’ ('Francoise'), written by Toto Guillaume and 'Ndutu', a song by Nkotti Francois as the A and B-side of the Black Styls first 45 rpm single. The single becomes a big hit in Cameroon and within a year the group scores again with 'O sambo'. In 1977, at the height of their success, Toto Guillaume quits the band and leaves to France to study music at the conservatory of Paris.


During the years that followed, Toto Guillaume developed himself as one of the key figures behind the success of Makossa during the 80's. The first Makossa wave with artists like Dina Bell, Joe Mboule, Jacky Ndoumbe and Pierre de Moussy, immediately followed by a second wave among who Douleur, Jr. Nelson, Charly Nelle and Jean Claude Mbimbe etc, all used Toguys skills as musician, arranger and producer.

Together with Aladji Toure, Toto Guillaume became the ‘captain’ of the Paris based group of talented instrumentalists who were nicknamed “the national team” of Makossa. In those 80’s and early 90’s their contribution to a production was regarded as a guarantee for success.
Today he is less present as arranger/producer compared to the 80's and 90's. But he is still able to 'deliver the goods' as we for example can hear on Eriko's album 'Baby palaba' from 2011.

Back on stage in 2015
 Clip: 2015 Live in Toronto

Last year Toguy surprised us with his come back on stage. Last summer he appeared on several festivals in Canada and in November he gave his first live performance in 20 years in Douala during the Makossa Festival (Festmak). During the closing ceremony, the one who is considered the "captain of the Makossa national team", received a trophy from the Governor of the Littoral Region. "I would like to tell our brother that he is the indomitable Lion of Makossa," said Dieudonné Ivaha Diboua, handing the trophy to the artist.