(Photo by C Brandon/Redferns via Getty Images)

Legendary Cameroonian Musician, Manu Dibango, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

After a recent hospital stay, the 86-year-old "Soul Makossa" creator is now "recovering and resting in serenity."

Legendary Cameroonian musician, Manu Dibango, is in recovery after testing positive for the coronavirus in France. The news was shared via the artist's Facebook page on Wednesday.

"After a recent hospital [stay] due to the Covid-19, Manu Dibango is resting and recovering in serenity," read the post. "He asks you to respect his privacy. He looks forward to seeing you soon and asks you, in this troubled time that we all go through, to take good care of you." There has been an outpouring of well-wishes from his fans and supporters in the comments section since the news surfaced.

The 86-year-old saxophonist is considered one of the foremost pioneers of Afro-jazz, known for his fusion of funk with traditional Cameroonian sounds.


His iconic1972 B-side "Soul Makossa" was a global hit, which both Michael Jackson and Rihanna famously referenced in their hit songs "Wanna Be Startin Somethin," and "Please Don't Stop the Music," respectively—reportedly without Dibango's permission. He later settled a lawsuit with the artists over their use of the track's hook.

He isn't the first African celebrity to share a positive coronavirus diagnosis. Star actor Idris Elba announced on Monday that he had also tested positive for the virus. Such news has helped disprove a popular myth that Black people were immune to the disease.

There are currently over 400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Africa. The Sub-Saharan region, documented its first official death on Wednesday after Burkina Faso's Vice President of Parliament Rose Marie Compaore succumbed to the disease.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.