N'Yoka Longo

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N'Yoka[1] Longo Mvula, also known as Jossart, alias Vieux Mbombas, is a DR Congo soukous singer, historical member and current leader of the popular soukous band Zaiko Langa Langa. He is most long serving member and one of it prolific songwriter and dancer. He is a second generation born Congolese, his family is originally from Angola. One of Africa's most prolific live band performers, N'Yoka Longo has toured several countries in Africa, America, and Europe.

BEFORE ZAIKO

He began his career in a big band known as Bel Guide National where he performed with Felix Manuaku and Teddy Sukami was the band secretary.

ZAIKO

On December 24, 1969, in Kinshasa, he founded Zaiko Langa Langa together with Papa Wemba and a group of fellow Bel Guide National members, including Henri Mongombe, D. V. Moanda, Marcelin Bita, and Félix Manuaku Waku. Josard Nyoka will penned the band big hit LA tout beige and will go on writing many others songs including Ngadiadia and many other, however that first part of his life in Zaiko will not be very successful and he will be at a later stage overshadowed by the Isifi which was the name of the popular group of singers then. Despite the longevity of Zaiko Langa Langa and their uncountable personnel changes, N'Yoka Longo never left and for a very longtime during the classic era of Zaiko he and "Bimi Ombale" incarnated the image and style of Zaiko, and he is currently the leader and main songwriter of the band.

In 1977, Longo was chosen to perform with Zaire's National Orchestra at FESTAC in Lagos; this was a significant thrust to his popularity, that has been steadily growing since then. He has written major Zaiko Langa Langa hits, including "LA tout beige", "Armando", "ngadiadia", "Nalala Pongi", "lidjo", "ma", "sentiment awa" which was crowned 1979 song of the year, "chetie nzembo", "pa oki", "mimi c'est trop tard", "crois moi", "Cherie massa", "amour suicide", "sos maya", "svp mbeyi", "payment cash" and played in over 100 international concert tours.

N'yoka Longo has been reproached of leading Zaiko in a totalitarian, rigorous manners that has been the reason of many departures of prominent members from the group and many major splits of Zaiko and mostly for failing to reach out to his friend and longtime colleague "Bimi Ombale" during the 1998 splits.

A distinctive feature of N'Yoka Longo is that, as a polyglot, he sings in several languages, including Kikongo, Swahili, French, and English.

In 2002, while touring with Zaiko in Europe, N'Yoka Longo was arrested and jailed by the Belgium justice. He was charged of facilitating clandestine and illegal immigration. Couple months later, he was released under bond paid by the D.R. Congo Government. He stayed and performed in Europe with his band Zaiko until 2009. He then returned in January that year to his country, D. R. Congo, where Zaiko has its headquarters.

Apart from Franco Luambo Makiadi and the latter's TPOK Jazz Band, N'yoka Longo and Zaiko Langa Langa proved influential in spreading Congolese Rumba music across the rest of Africa, especially within focal points in East and Central Africa like Kisii, Kisumu, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Lilongwe, Lusaka, Kampala, Kigali, and Bujumbura.

N'Yoka Longo and Zaiko's stage performances are credited with fueling subsequent contemporary stage performances by other Congolese musicians like Koffi Olomide, Ferre Gola, and Fally Ipupa.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The simplified spelling "Nyoka" is also found in literature.

References[edit]