Kanda Bongoman was my teacher

Steve Ephraem

RUMBA music which has been a force to reckon in Africa since the 1960s is still ruling the roast. Before the 1980s names such Tabu Ley Rochereau, Zaiko Langa Langa, The Grand Kalle and Vicky Longomba come to the mind.

The 1980s saw figures such as Theo Blaise Kounkou, Papa Wemba, Sam Mangwana, Franco Luambo Mikiadi, Lady Isa, Mbilia Bel and Lokasa Yambongo being among the heavy weights.

It was in the 1990s that I was convinced that rumba was at its peak with the soukous (kwasa kwasa) beat conquering Africa. That is when names such as Pepe Kalle, Kanda Bongoman, Diblo Dibala, Yondo Sister, Loketo, Alain Kounkou, Awilo Longomba and many others ruled.

The 2000s came with ndombolo and other new versions with Roga Roga, Koffi Olomide, Werrason, Fally Ipupa, Ferre Gola and many others commanding multitude of fans. That’s when Chetty Ebu Sunam Sabaoth also emerged.

Born Ebu Ebuba Chetty on June 28, 1975 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, the South Africa based singer took time from his busy schedule to offer Business Wave Africa.com an interview.

The rumba artiste revealed that he is in the studios recording his first project as a solo artistes and also claimed that he learnt a lot of tactics from his former pay master, Kanda Bongoman.

“I sing rumba, soukous and kizomba (from Angola) and international music depending to the event or environment. I entered into music in Congo in 1990 when I was still at school. I formed my own band in 1995 but didn’t go well. I then migrated to South Africa in 1999.

It was on 2002 when I started performing for Kanda Bongoman. I did travel a lot with him until 2019 and I learnt a lot from him. Now I have my own band.

“I can play drums and have a lot of unrecorded songs. Currently, I am working on a project titled Mi yeba (Lingala phrase for know yourself). It shall be released in February 2023. I want to start live performances with my band so that people can sample our music,” said Chetty.

The Congolese singer wants to keep his fans happy.

“I want to tell fans of good music to give us the chance and follow us. I thank those who always support new groups, I also need their good heart and invite them to work with me on my projects and vision,” he added.

Ebu Chetty runs a small business and sings in Lingala, French, English and Portuguese. His band is called New Generation of Rhumba (shortened New Ge Rhumba).

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