Lambo Pierre Roger Sandjo aka LAPIRO (first two letters of each of his names) de Mbanga was born on April 7 in Mbanga, Littoral Region Cameroon. Lapiro decided to leave his carpentry career for his passion in music after his advance level certificate. His music career took him to Nigeria, Benin and Gabon and upon his return to Cameroon in 1985 he composed songs that spoke about the socio-economic realities of his country and the continent. After a first hit with Pas argent no love his real break through came with No make erreur on which he shared vocals with reggae star Jimmy Cliff. He was nicknamed Ndinga Man (the guitar man) for his savoir faire in the art. Through his songs he became the voice of the downtrodden in Cameroonian society.
Lapiro de Mbanga somewhat fell out with the Cameroon people in the early 90s when he was accused by public opinion for siding with the regime. He had called for Cameroonians to clamour for change in a peaceful manner and not resort to violence that would have plunged the country into a cicil war.
Chastised, Lapiro went silent for a while and emerged again in 2008 to denounce a proposed constitutional amendment that would give life preseidency for incumbent President Biya. This was in the song Constituition constupée (Constipated constitution).
Arrested in april 2008 (shortly after the 2008 demonstrations) Lapiro was sentenced on September 24 2008 to three years in prison after he was found guilty of complicity in looting, arson, destruction of property, charges he all denied.
He was released from prison in 2011 after which he relased his last album Demissionnez (Resign) in which he called on President Biya to resign following his failure to govern Cameroon.
Facing all forms of intimidations and threats , Lapiro, his wife and his three children sought refuge in the USA in 2012, where he finally died in 2014.
See also: Wikipedia - Lapiro de Mbanga