(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
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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