Manu Dibango performs during Franck Sorbier's Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 fashion collection in Paris. Picture: AP Photo
Manu Dibango performs during Franck Sorbier's Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 fashion collection in Paris. Picture: AP Photo

Afro-jazz legend Manu Dibango dies due to coronavirus

By thobile mazibuko Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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Cameroonian Afro-jazz legend Manu Dibango, real name Emmanuel N'Djoke Dibango, died after he contracted the coronavirus.

The 86-year-old "Big Blow" musician died on Tuesday morning at a hospital outside Paris, France, according to AFP.

The musician's family, who is best known for the 1972 hit "Soul Makossa", announced on his Facebook page last week that he had been admitted to hospital after contracting the virus. 

On Tuesday, they announced in French that the jazz star had passed away, confirming it was due to coronavirus.

"Cher public, chers amis, Nous portons à votre information qu’après une récente hospitalisation due au Covid 19, Manu Dibango se repose et récupère dans la sérénité.  Il vous demande de respecter son intimité.

"Il se réjouit d'avance de vous retrouver prochainement et vous demande, en cette période troublée que nous traversons tous, de bien prendre soin de vous.  Amicalement !"

This translates to: "Dear family, dear friends, dear fans, A voice raises from far away…

It is with deep sadness that we announce the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, due to Covid-19.

His funeral service will be held in private, and a tribute to his memory will be organised when possible.

If you wish to express your condolences, please write to the following email: [email protected]"

Dibango was very fond of late South African star Johnny Clegg who passed away in July from cancer last year. 

He also performed with the legendary Hugh Masekela.

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