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Manu Dibango on stage. His 50-year musical career took him to major cities of the world/Photo: Manu Dibango/Facebook

Music legend Manu Dibango dies of coronavirus in Paris

Afro-jazz legend Manu Dibango is dead.

The family of the Cameroonian singer and saxophonist announced his death at 86 of the new coronavirus on his Facebook page on Tuesday (24 March).

“It is with deep sadness that we announce to you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove,” a statement on his official Facebook page read.

Dibango’s agent Thierry Durepaire also confirmed the music legend’s death. “He died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region,” Durepaire said. 

Dibango – best known for his 1972 song Soul Makossa – is the second African star in Europe to die of Covid-19. Congolese music star Aurlus Mabélé also died, aged 67, of the disease in a hospital in France’s capital Paris last Saturday.

Dibango was regarded the king of soukous – a high-tempo Congolese dance music popular across Africa.

He fused jazz and funk music with traditional sounds from his home country, Cameroon.

A virtuoso on the saxophone, vibraphone and piano, Dibango was a regular in Germany and last performed at the Africa Würzburg Festival in 2018.

Austin Ohaegbu

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