King Kester Emeneya

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Jean Baptiste Emeneya Mubiala Kwamambu (November 23, 1956 – February 13, 2014) was a Congolese singer best known as King Kester Emeneya.[1]

He was born in Kikwit within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While a student of political science at the University of Lubumbashi in 1977, King Kester joined the band Viva La Musica. After achieving success with several popular songs, he became the most popular african singer in the 1980s and created his own band, called "Victoria Eleison", on December 24, 1982.[2]

Emeneya Djo Kester was innovative with his music. He was the first central African musician to incorporate electronic instruments (synthesizers) in his album entitled Nzinzi which sold millions of copies. After years of success with populars songs, in 1993 he released his album Every Body distributed by Sonodisc. Every body was a big success internationally. Emeneya is by far the greatest musician Africa ever had. In 1997, after a seven-year absence, King Kester returned to Congo. Nearly 80,000 people attended the first concert after his return, which was a record-setting feat according to the Congolese media. He has more than 1000 songs to his credit and has performed on five continents.

From 1991 until his death in Paris in 2014, King Kester Emeneya lived mostly in France with his family. Emeneya's funeral was the largest in the history of Congo and was broadcast live on all channels in Congo and many others around the world. On April 6, 2014 Pope Francis welcomed Emeneya's family to Vatican city to express his support.



  1. ^ "Le roi de la musique congolaise, King Kester Emeneya, est mort" (in French). France24. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  2. ^ White, Bob W. (2008). Rumba rules: the politics of dance music in Mobutu's Zaire. Duke University Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-8223-4112-3. Retrieved 26 November 2010. 

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