Sam Mangwana

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Sam Mangwana
Born (1945-02-21) 21 February 1945 (age 79)
Leopoldville, Belgian Congo
(present-day Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
GenresCongolese rumba
Occupation(s)Recording artist
Years active1963–present

Sam Mangwana (born 21 February 1945), is a Congolese-born musician, born to an Angolan mother and Zimbabwean father.[1] He was the frontman of his bands Festival des Maquisards and African All Stars. Mangwana was a member of François Luambo Makiadi's seminal band TPOK Jazz, and Tabu Ley Rochereau's bands African Fiesta, African Fiesta National and Afrisa International.[2]


He was born on 21 February 1945 in then Leopoldville, now Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the largest city in that country. Mangwana's parents were native of neighboring Angola. His father was a Zimbabwean, who was born in Chivi. Over the years Sam Mangwana has visited his relatives in Zimbabwe. [3]

Mangwana made his professional debut in 1963 with the Congo-Kinshasa rumba band, African Fiesta, owned and led by Tabu Ley Rochereau. Mangwana moved across the Congo River to Brazzaville where he formed a short-lived group called Los Batchichas. He also worked with the more established Negro Band and Orchestre Tembo. He then crossed back to Kinshasa where he joined Tabu Ley, whose band was now known as African Fiesta National.

In 1967, Mangwana again left to form Festival des Maquisards. The band included notable recording artists; vocalists Dalienst and Madilu System, guitarist Dizzy Mandjeku and lead guitarist Michelino. Two years later, Sam Mangwana was on the move again. He recorded duos with a guitarist called Jean Paul "Guvano" Vangu, until 1972.

In 1972 he joined TPOK Jazz, led by Franco. Mangwana often played lead singer on compositions by OK Jazz guitarist Simaro Lutumba. His popularity increased during this time. The collaboration with Simaro yielded three hits: "Ebale ya Zaire", "Cedou" and "Mabele". He left OK Jazz and briefly to re-joined Tabu Ley's band, now called Afrisa. He then left again, this time moving to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, in West Africa. In 1978 he formed, along with others, the band African All Stars.

When the All Stars broke up in 1979, he became a solo artist. He recorded and toured with varying combinations of musicians. Maria Tebbo (1980) with remnants of the All Stars, Coopération (1982) with Franco, Canta Moçambique (1983) with Mandjeku, and albums with saxophonist Empompo Loway under the names Tiers Monde Coopération and Tiers Monde Révolution were highlights of his career in the 1980s.

Due to his frequent goings and comings, he won the nickname "pigeon voyageur" (travelling pigeon). In the 2000s, Mangwana spent most of his time in Angola, emerging periodically to perform concerts in Europe.[4][5]

Band memberships[edit]


  • African All Stars: Les Champions, 1977
  • Sam Mangwana et l'African All Stars: Georgette Eckins, 1978
  • Théo-Blaise Kounkou et l'African All Stars: Zenaba (1978)
  • Sam Mangwana et l'African All Stars: International Sam Mangwana (1979)
  • Waka Waka, 1978
  • Maria Tebbo, 1979
  • Georgette Eckins, 1979
  • Matinda, 1979
  • Affaire Disco, 1981
  • Est-ce Que Tu Moyens?, 1981
  • Cooperation, 1982
  • Affaire Video, 1982
  • N'Simba Eli, 1982
  • Bonne Annee, 1983
  • In Nairobi, 1984
  • Aladji, 1987
  • For Ever, 1989
  • Lukolo, 1989
  • Capita General, 1990
  • Megamix, July 1990
  • Rumba Music, 1993
  • No Me Digas No, 1995
  • Galo Negro, 1998
  • Sam Mangwana Sings Dino Vangu, 2000
  • Volume 1 Bilinga Linga 1968/1969, June 2000
  • Volume 2 Eyebana 1980/1984, June 2000
  • Very Best of 2001, March 2001
  • Cantos de Esperanca, April 2003
  • Lubamba, 2016
With TPOK Jazz
Contributing artist

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cagnolari, Vladimir (2021-02-09). "Mangwana : le roman fleuve d'une vie". PAM | Pan African Music (in French). Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  2. ^ Harris, Craig. "Sam Mangwana: Artist Biography by Craig Harris". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  3. ^ Clandos, Rosemary (10 November 2000). "Sam Mangwana - Mangwana's Music Has Roots On Both Sides of The Atlantic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  4. ^ Stewart, Gary (2011). "Rumba On The River". Cold Run Books. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  5. ^ Musica (10 April 2012). "Sam Mangwana". Retrieved 12 April 2014.

External links[edit]

[There is significant overlap between these, and also with Flemming Harrev's liner notes for Sam Mangwana's 1989 Canta Mocambique album.]