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Lapiro De Mbanga

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Lapiro DeMbanga was one of Cameroon's most out-spoken singer/songwriters. A master of the recording studio, DeMbanga produced two albums of high-tech dance music: Ndiga Man in 1991 and Na Wou Go Pay? in 1993. Set to percussive, Fela Kuti-influenced arrangements, DeMbanga's heavily political lyrics provide a voice for the working class of his native land. One song, "Syndromeunique," indicts government officials for "selling illusions! Champions of all kinds of promises," and claims, "Gone is Freedom! The only freedom to which we have the right is the right to elect our executioners." DeMbanga paid the price for his political views. Although he worked closely with the opposition movement, he was accused of selling his support to Paul Biya's government in 1991. This created an uproar among his fans who created a riot during one of his shows in Doula and set his car and nightclub (The Matango) afire. ~ Craig Harris

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April 7, 1957 in Cameroon

Years Active:

'90s, '00s