Francis Bebey

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Francis Bebey
Born (1929-07-15)15 July 1929
Douala, Cameroon
Died 28 May 2001(2001-05-28) (aged 71)
Paris, France
Genres makossa, classical guitar, jazz, pop, electronic
Occupation(s) artist, musician, writer, radio broadcaster
Instruments guitar
Years active 1969–2000

Francis Bebey (15 July 1929 in Douala, Cameroon – 28 May 2001 in Paris, France [1]) was a Cameroonian artist, musician, and writer.

Bebey attended the Sorbonne, and was further educated in the United States. In 1957, Bebey moved to Ghana at the invitation of Kwame Nkrumah, and took a job as a broadcaster.[2]

In the early 1960s, Bebey moved to France and started work in the arts, establishing himself as a musician, sculptor, and writer. His most popular novel was Agatha Moudio's Son. He also worked as a consultant for UNESCO.[2]

Bebey released his first album in 1969.[3] His music was primarily guitar-based, although he integrated traditional African instruments as well. His style was groundbreaking,[2] merging Cameroonian makossa with classical guitar, jazz, and pop[3] in a mix that could be intellectual, humorous, or serious.[2] He sang in Duala, English, and French.[3] Bebey helped launch the career of Manu Dibango.[4] Bebey released more than 20 albums over his career.[5]

John Williams' piece 'Hello Francis' is written as a tribute to Bebey.[6]


  1. ^ The Independent Obituary
  2. ^ a b c d DeLancey and DeLancey 48.
  3. ^ a b c Hudgens and Trillo 1182.
  4. ^ Mbaku 198.
  5. ^ West 19.
  6. ^


  • DeLancey, Mark W., and Mark Dike DeLancey (2000): Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon (3rd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press.
  • Hudgens, Jim, and Richard Trillo (1999). West Africa: The Rough Guide. 3rd ed. London: Rough Guides Ltd.
  • Mbaku, John Mukum (2005). Culture and Customs of Cameroon. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
  • West, Ben (2004). Cameroon: The Bradt Travel Guide. Guilford, Connecticut: The Globe Pequot Press Inc.