Lutumba Simaro Masiya
|Birth name||Simon Lutumba Ndomanueo|
|Also known as||Lutumba Simaro Masiya|
|Born||19 March 1938|
Léopoldville, Belgian Congo (now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
|Died||30 March 2019 (aged 81)|
|Occupation(s)||composer, arranger, producer, guitarist|
|Years active||1959 – 2019|
|Associated acts||TPOK Jazz|
Simaro Massiya Lutumba Ndomanueno (19 March 1938 – 30 March 2019), popularly known as Simaro, was a Congolese music rhythm guitarist, songwriter and bandleader in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He was a member of the seminal Congo music band TPOK Jazz which dominated the Congolese music scene from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Simaro was born in Congo Kinshasa.
Music career with OK Jazz
According to Simaro, he joined Luambo Makiadi in 1961. Later Josky Kiambukuta joined them, and later still Ndombe Opetum came along. For a while, Youlou Mabiala and Madilu System played with OK Jazz, before they launched their own solo careers. For many years, Simaro served as the Vice President of the band and led the group during Franco's long trips to Europe during the 1980s. In 1974, he composed the band's hit song "Mabele" sung by Sam Mangwana, which earned him the nickname "Poet". In the late 1970s he was jailed at Makala Prison, along with Franco and other musicians, over two songs deemed obscene by the authorities. According to pundits, Lutumba is considered as one of the greatest poets, singers and philosophers of Congolese music.
Simaro is credited with composing many songs for the band, including:
- Likambo Zi Tu Zoto Esilkata Te - Sung by Michel Boyibanda, Josky Kiambukuta and Sam Mangwana
- Oko Regretter Ngai Mama - Sung by Michel Boyibanda, Josky Kiambukuta, Wuta Mayi and Lola Checain
- Bodutaka - Sung by Sam Mangwana, Michèl Boyibanda, Josky Kiambukuta and Lola Chécain
- Mabele - Sung by Sam Mangwana
- Eau Benite - Sung by Madilu System
- Maya - Sung by Carlyto Lassa
- Testament ya Bowule - Sung by Malage de Lugendo
- Vaccination - Sung by Kiesse Diambu
- Ebale ya Zaire - Sung by Sam Mangwana
- Faute Ya Commercant - Sung by Sam Mangwana
- Cedou - Sung by Sam Mangwana, Michel Boyibanda & Franco
- Bisalela - Sung by Youlou Mabiala, Josky Kiambukuta, Michel Boyibanda and Wuta Mayi
- Mbongo - Sung by Djo Mpoyi
- Salle d'attente - Sung by Ferre Gola, Josky Kiambukuta, M'bilia Bel and Papa Wemba
- Kadima - Sung by Djo Mpoyi
Music career post OKJazz
Following the death of Franco in 1989, Simaro met with the family of the late band leader and agreed to split revenue 70% to 30% with the family. Simarro would take care of the musicians and the family would take care of the lawyers, record labels and other technical stakeholders. However, in 1993, OKJazz split up over disagreements in the way funds were being shared. In January 1994, Simaro formed Bana OK, with the majority of the musicians from OKJazz, about thirty of them.
Simaro Massiya Lutumba died in a hospital in Paris, France, on Saturday 30 March 2019. The cause of death of the music legend, who was known to suffer from diabetes and hypertension, was not immediately known.
- African Rumba
- Music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Francois Luambo Makiadi
- List of African musicians
- "Simaro". web home of the book Rumba on the River. Gary Stewart.
- Ngaira, Amos (31 October 2014). "Former TP OK Jazz star, Simaro, in 'stable' condition". Daily Nation Mobile. Nairobi. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
- Banning Eyre (2002). "Interview: Lutumba Simaro, 2002". World Music Productions. Archived from the original on 2011-09-21.
- Ngaira, Amos (30 March 2019). "Congolese Musician Simaro Massiya Lutumba Dies In Paris". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 30 March 2019.