Most people in Africa and in many parts of the world love Congolese music known for vibrant guitar Soukous and Ndombolo styles.  Nigeria is no exception, with its booming Afrobeats styles largely influenced by the Congolese rythmes. There have been collaborations between our Nigerian artists and our Congolese stars, and we have over the years enjoyed good music from Empire Bakuba/Pepe Kalle, Djouna Mumbafu (Tonnerre De Brest album), Awilo Longomba, Koffi Olomide, Yondo Sister and many others.

Djouna Mumbafu is the Star this article focuses on, because he has contributed immensely to our African music since 1980 to present. He is star of the Empire Bakuba/Pepe Kalle group and lead singer for most of the songs beside Pepe Kalle, and currently a Solo Artist with his current band “Orchestre Bigone” which includes Alli Kalle, younger brother of Pepe Kalle.  Djouna Mumbafu brought us the Kora top winner finalist song “6600 Volts”, the ultimate top album “Tonnerre De Brest”, featuring “Onze Onze”, “Keba na Mopepe”, “Nez a Nez”, “Karachiga”, “Fin Du Match”and many other top hits. He has brought West African hits working with DJ Kalonji, the late DJ Arafat with coup decale hit.  He has collaborated with top talent to bring the best through his music including guitarist Dally Kimoko, Diblo Dibala, and other musicians such as Fally Ipupa, Awilo Longomba and many others.

Born as Bileku Mpasi Jean-Pierre Matonet, Djouna Big-One (Djouna Mumbafu) revolutionised Congolese music with his choreographies and “atalaku”-yells.  Djouna was born in Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He attended the Institute of Pedagogy.  From an early age, he showed an extraordinary talent for dance and music.

Djouna Mumbafu Harare Zimbabwe

He was noticed by Pepé Kallé when he was performing with his group of teenagers in the Kintambo district of Congo. He started singing formally with Empire Bakuba/Pepe Kalle at the age of 15 years in 1980 after being discovered by Pepe Kalle. The great singer Pepe Kalle became, from then on, the spiritual father of Djouna, who would evolve within the “Bakuba Empire” for more than 15 years, until becoming its President.

Djouna Mumbafu wrote many of the Empire Bakuba songs, and is the exciting, energetic, lead singer for most of the songs, dancer and prominent animateur (known as Atalaku in Congolese), that would energize the crowd.  It is difficult to find any Empire Bakuba Music videos that do not feature Djouna Mumbafu.  Following the death of Pepe Kalle, Empire Bakuba fell apart into various factions such as Foundation Bakuba and Delta Force. Before starting his solo career, Djouna was part of the Congo based group Delta Force. 

Djouna Mumbafu with Pepe Kalle performing with Empire Bakuba Band

By Dr Mercy Alu

I am a mother, HR consultant, author, Goodwill Ambassador with Globcal (a partner with UN on SDG's in Africa), coordinator with International Association of African Authors/Scholars, a songwriter/recording artist, researcher, and social anthropologist of sorts! I believe we should all live our best lives, and enjoy helping organizations and individuals perform better. I and my guest authors love to share information about the world around us; African events & Entertainment, plus lots of good information about Health, Wellness, Family, Book Publishing, Business, Relationships, Culture, Folk Stories, and much more. I speak several languages including French and Igbo (a West African Language). I enjoy research, writing, reading, singing and finding out lots of things about, well, lots of things! Knowledge is power. So information and knowledge gained from experiences, observation, all flavor the things I write about in the exciting blog portion of this website. Feel free to drop me a line or two, I also want to hear from you!

16 thoughts on “Djouna Mumbafu Bigone of Africa”
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