woensdag 13 augustus 2014


"Le Sorcier Bantu" returns with " Sensationnel":
  a cocktail of 9 danceable tracks.
♫ Clip:  2013 Bebey d'amour
"Big" Benji Mateke a.k.a. "Le Sorcier Bantu" was born July 11, 1969 in the city of Souza, but  spent his childhood in Nkapa, Department of Mungo region of the Littoral Cameroon. He comes from a family with four girls and six boys. As a young boy he travels several cities (Loum, Nkongsamba Mbanga, etc.) alongside his father David Mateke Miyanga, employed at the National Railway Authority. The latter, who in his spare time is a singer and guitarist, certainly inspired the junior Mateke to become a musician.
Unlike many Cameroonian artists, Benji Mateke developed his first musical skills in school bands.Between 1985 and 1988 he was conductor of musical training colleges Saint Jean de Mbanga and Lele Nkongsamba. Thanks to his talent and his boundless energy, he is quickly spotted and in 1988 he joins Tara System, the group founded by the late Lapiro de Mbanga. This is an important moment in his development as an artist. With Lapiro as his mentor, Benji  becomes an accomplished musician during the next 4 years. In 1992 he is ready to face a new challenge and participates in the national song contest organised by Mutzig Breweries Cameroon.  He reaches the finals, but the next year in 1993 he wins the competition.
In 1994 his first album "Sorcerer Bantu" is released. The track "Fifion Ribana" inspired by a famous radio character broadcasted by Radio Africa Number One, propelled him to the front of the Cameroon music scene. His second album "The match" released in 1997 brought him a second hit with the track "Rosy Muna". With his third album "Makossa Cellulaire" (2001) Benji Mateke proved definitively that he was not a one-day fly, but had become one of the top-makossa singers of the new millennium.

 Benji Mateke  is not the type of artist who releases two or more albums a year. He is a perfectionist who takes his time and puts high demands on the production of his music. This explains why his fans had to wait 4 years until his next CD produced by Jean-Philippe Tamba  came out. The title track - "Boulot c'est boulot"-  became a big hit in 2005/6 in Cameroon and the African clubs in Paris.
♫ Clip:  2009 Kousine
 In late 2009, another four years later "Boulot c'est Boulot" is followed by the album "Emotion". With Toto Guillaume taking care of the arrangements and vocal guest appearrances by Ben Decca, Jacky Kingue, Charlotte Dipanda and Joly Priso among others, "Emotion" is an album with many and varied sounds.
 And now Big Benji is back with "Sensationnel". Again supported by several recognized singers such as Jean Pierre Essome, Jacky Kingue, Sergeo Polo, Annie Anzouer, Joly Priso, the Nigerian Dom Tom and special guest, the great Manu Dibango, Benjy celebrates his 20 years long en rewarding career.
That the new album is doing very well I experienced when Ivisited Paris last week. In all the African record shops in Rue Poulet (Rythmes & Musiques - PPCM -Oviation) "Sensationnell" was sold out. Fortunately I finally found my copy in the shop of the Malinese label Camara Production in Rue Marcadet.
 ♫ Clip:  Medley Big Benji
The albums "Le match" and "Makossa cellulaire" are still available at:
$ (Web) shop: Amazon UK



A1 Fifion Ribana / 2 Abus de confiance / 3 Marie Philomene Nga
B1 Mbembe na mbembe / 2 Ndut'a bila / 3 Mba pe na mala