African Jazz legend, Manu Dibango responding well to treatment after testing positive for Coronavirus in France

By Amos Fofung

Lifetime award during the 25th Africa festival in Wuerzburg, Germany, 30 May 2013.
Lifetime award during the 25th Africa festival in Wuerzburg, Germany, 30 May 2013.

Cameroon-born veteran Afro jazz star, Emmanuel N’Djoke Dibango, popularly known as Manu Dibango has disclosed that he is responding “well” to treatment and “recovering” steadily after testing positive with Coronavirus in France.

The 86-year-old African Star, best known for the 1972 hit “Soul Makossa”, announced on Wednesday via his Facebook page that he being treated in a hospital after testing positive for Covid-19, the virus that has now killed thousands the world over.

“Manu Dibango is resting well and calmly recovering,” a statement on his Facebook page said.

“He kindly asks to respect his privacy. He can’t wait to meet you again soon, and in these troubled times we all go through, wants you to take very good care of yourselves,” it added.

Media reports hold that Manu Dibango was admitted in the French hospital for a different disease when he got infected.

The saxophonist was one of the pioneers of Afro jazz, with his own style also fusing funk with traditional Cameroonian music.

Among his biggest hit was the B side of a song to support the Cameroon football team in during the African Cup of Nations. The music gained international fame when it was picked up and popularized by New York DJs.

A one-time UNESCO Peace Artist, Manu Dibango was born in Douala, Cameroon, in 1933, and has amazed several international nominations and awards including a Grammy Award, two Charles Cros Academy awards for box sets, a Lifetime Achievement Award from AFRIMA among several others.

Rising from his humble beginnings to become one of Africa’s most celebrated musicians, World Music & Jazz saxophonist Manu Dibango became celebrated for his distinct amalgamation of Jazz and Funk with the tradition music of his native Cameroon and the rhythms of Africa.

While studying in Paris, Dibango become exposed to a wealth of music and art not accessible in Cameroon. His heart became enthralled with Jazz, and he soon began playing music that combined sounds of his homeland with the Western styles of American Jazz artists such as Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker. Categorized as everything from Afro-Jazz to World Music to Afro-beat to Makossa to Reggae, Dibango created his unique sound by embracing the musical spectrum.

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