In Summary
  • Kenyan benga singer Emma Jalamo and Steve Kay are also expected to perform.
  • Kanda avoided Kenya but his music was still a favourite among his fans.

The 28th edition of the Koroga Festival is billed to be a star-studded show, with veteran Congolese musicians, the king of Kwasa Kwasa Kanda Bongo Man and the Queen of rhumba M’bilia Bel scheduled to perform.

Kanda and M’bilia are expected to share the stage on the second day of the event at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.

The festival, to be held on November 30 and December 1, is meant to attract the two maestros’ fans and a younger fan base.

Kenyan benga singer Emma Jalamo and Steve Kay are also expected to perform.

The return of Kanda Bongo Man and M’bilia will rekindle fond memories among Kenyan fans of Congolese music.


Kanda, who spoke to the Saturday Nation by telephone from London, where he is based, expressed his delight at the prospect of returning to Kenya, seven years since he last performed here.

Kanda is best remembered in the country for his popular Lingala songs such as “Inde Monie”, “Sai” and “Lisa” and the rhumba ballad “Sweet Elizabeth”.

It will be Kanda’s second show at the Bomas of Kenya, having last performed there back in 1991. But he returned to the country in 2012, when he held a performance in Kenya at the Deep West Resort Club in Nairobi West.

“Kenya means a lot to my music career, particularly considering what I went through in the 1990s,” Kanda told the Saturday Nation, referring to his 1991 deportation for allegedly breaching immigration rules. “But I am glad to come back anytime,” he said.


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