This has happened in America for the last 7 months, a record for Congolese music that falls in the year of the 50th anniversary of this orchestra which also holds another record: that of the longevity of a Congolese group operating continuously.
Afriqu’Échos Magazine has exchanged with the leader of the group, the singer Jossart Nyoka Longo who was already there at the creation of the orchestra in 1969.
(AEM): Six months of tour abroad, how does the group live this exceptional situation?
JOSSART N’YOKA LONGO
(JNL): Very good, very good, morale is high, everything is going well since we arrived here in the USA on September 1st, 2018 (for the group in general although I personally joined them on September 5th, 2018).
We are very satisfied with this tour. At the moment we are on our way to Houston (Texas), (at the time of the interview, on 7.03.2019 ed.); we will then go to Dallas (Texas), then to Kansas city (in the Midwest), Chicago (in Illinois) ….
AEM: The date of your return back to D.R.Congo is repeatedly being postponed…
JNL: Indeed, after Chicago, we will join Los Angeles where we have established our headquarters. You will soon be informed about the date our tour will end.
AEM: A tour that is the longest in the history of Zaïko Langa-Langa on the American continent.
JNL: A first of its kind, not only for our group but for a Congolese group: 6 months at the end of March, which on top is America. Zaïko Langa Langa has just set a record.
AEM: Curious? Passionate? Enthusiastic or dubious, how does the American public react?
JNL: We are welcomed wherever we go. Among the public who flock massively to each of our concerts, in addition to Americans and South Americans, there are also Congolese from Brazzaville (on top of compatriots), Africans from other communities such as Zambians, Tanzanians, Nigerians, and most of all, Kenyans.
Swap to French
During one of our shows, we were joined on stage by a Colombian musical group that wonderfully performed some of our songs. This is indeed the Bazurto All Stars group.
AEM: Without rehearsing with you?
JNL: No, this is just a Colombian based band that likes our music. It’s a group of seasoned professionals who are used to playing our songs. This is how they intervened spontaneously during our double production at SOB’S in New York, on January 4 and January 6, 2019. We also sent them an invitation to Zaiko Langa-Langa’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Kinshasa.
AEM: You have dedicated a song to the fight against tuberculosis that has brought you an award and an invitation to an evening organized by WHO in New York City
JNL: Yes … The song was awarded because of its impact in the global campaign against tuberculosis. It will be translated into 50 languages for a large audience. As you just said, I was invited to a gala dinner in New York City organized by the TB agency. The event was enhanced by the presence of many high-ranking African personalities. I was also invited to a conference to be held on March 26, 2019 in Kinshasa, but I will still have concerts to deliver here in the United States …
AEM: What about your next album that did not come out on schedule?
JNL: Everything is nearly ready, this album that includes 12 titles has already been mixed and engraved. We are at the stage of computer graphics, the design of the cover and the booklet that will accompany the media. You will know more at the beginning of April
AEM: A word on the festivities of the 50th anniversary of the orchestra
JNL: An organizing committee for Zaiko Langa Langa’s 50th anniversary celebrations is already under way; which includes Freddy Elonga, Henri Tuluka, Lutu Nzolantima, Prof Patrick Missasi, Leopold Mavinga and of course Charles Tuluenga from Maison RIDA Production, the promoter of our current tour in the USA; also the Honorable Eva Muakassa and your colleague Jean Pierre Eale Ikabe.
Among the planned activities: an exhibition of photos, vinyl records, CDs and various other Zaiko Langa Langa recordings that trace the history of our group since its creation.
Also scheduled is the opening of the book on the history of Zaïko Langa Langa of which I am the co-author alongside the journalist Augustin Mayamba Masika who died recently and I regret the disappearance. This book will be published in 2 volumes, with the support of Manda Tchebwa, the director general of CICIBA, the international center of Bantu civilizations based in Libreville, Gabon. This book contains testimonials from several major players in this building that is Zaïko Langa-Langa among which, the founders Henri Mongombe, Marcelin Delo; the singers Papa Wemba, Mavuela; not to mention them all…
RTG (Radio Télévision Gabonaise) will also broadcast a series of shows covering all these activities from their start until December.
AEM: It promises a very rich exhibition …
JNL: It can and must still be enriched: I invite all music lovers to bring elements and media related to the orchestra: CDs, audio and video cassettes, photos and other media. They can contact us on the numbers + 243-998-13-60-40 | + 243-81-99-42-777 or via our e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org