Each of the young acts who took the stage in explosive sets, provided beyond-quality music and poetry. Yet, there was this considerable hunger to see Les Mangelepa.
But in a period of receding social media tumult, the ‘Grand Mopao’ Koffi Olomide was being deported from Nairobi on the same night after he assaulted one of his dancers at the airport.
The senior citizens looked pretty good, straight from a Europe tour. Their revival on that Alchemist Bar wooden stage suited everyone—the Rhumba lovers, the media and even the event organisers.
After soaking up the coronation humbly, they returned for one last performance of the night. And they delivered one more time. Yet, we never doubted them from the onset. But how could we? They had said they would deliver.
Orchestre Les Mangelepa was back in centre stage, where they have always belonged from time immemorial.
Photo Credits: Nyangesh Photography
When Orchestre Les Mangelepa rumbled in the Rhumba jungle over 40 years ago from Lubumbashi in D.R.C, they never predicted years down the line, the nu-Nairobi would be opening the stage night for them. Perhaps the most memorable night in the history of the genre.
WIBO Culture had put up an event dubbed “Rhumba Today” last Friday night—piecing together the urban-influenced sound of Rhumba by Red Acapella at The Alchemist Bar.
The stage needed their moves, style and noise. They were slower, of course, but their delivery had heavy punches.
They came to bathe in the glow of legends, legends who the party did not want them to leave. Their performance, surreal from the onset to the finish. They brought something special this night. So special that even the young nu-Nairobi Rhumba lovers, who were in majority wanted to tap into.
Orchestre Les Mangelepa coronation was completed on this stage. A coronation the legendary Makadem saw befitting for legendary cartoonist, Maddo to hand the certificate of Recognition to the band.