Veteran Congolese musician Simaro Lutumba. PHOTO | FILE
Legendary Congolese musician Simaro Massiya Lutumba died early Saturday at a hospital in Paris, France.
His fellow musicians Nyboma Mwandido and Sam Mangwana confirmed his death in phone interviews with the Nation.
Mr Lutumba was born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo on March 19, 1938.
He specialised in Soukous, wrote songs, played the guitar and led a band in the DRC.
The cause of Mr Lutumba’s death was not immediately clear but he had been suffering from diabetes and hypertension.
Several musicians of repute, among them Kenyans Joseph Kamaru and Ayub Ogada, Zimbabwean Oliver Mutukudzi and Congolese Dodo Munoko, have died in recent times.
Mr Kamaru, a celebrated Kikuyu Benga musician, died in October 2018 at MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi where he had been admitted days before after falling ill. He was 79 years old.
Kamaru, who hailed from Kangema in Murang’a County was born in 1939 and started his singing career in 1956.
Mr Ogada was born in 1956 in Mombasa to parents who were musicians. Travelling with his parents exposed him to both Western and African cultures, which influenced his music.
He favoured the Nyatiti, a Luo string instrument, in most of his songs.
Mr Mtukudzi, a star of Afro-jazz who won a following across the continent and beyond, died in January at the age of 66.
He passed away at Avenue Hospital hospital in Harare, the local press reported.
Mr Munoko died in October 2018 at a hospital in Los Angeles following a short illness. He was 61 years old.