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Fans mourn as Congo-Brazzaville iconic guitarist, Passy Mermans, passes on



One of Africa’s and Congo-Brazzavile iconic guitarists, Passy Mermans, has died at the age of 80, a member of his orchestra group, Bantous de la Capitale, Kosmos Moutouari, confirmed on Monday.

Passy Mermans, who was popularly known as Mermans 1st, was the founder of the Bantous de la Capitale, the first ever Congolese orchestra which was created in 1959.

The death of the guitarist of one of the oldest orchestras in Africa comes after those of his colleagues Henri Gilbert Adampot, and Ricky Simeon Malonga, Moutouari said.

“It’s difficult, you lose at the same time, first Richy followed by the death of Adampot, and a few days later the old Mermans. It makes you think at the end “but what’s going on.”

“Mermans was a good guy, a sound artist and in life, he was a man who dealt with everyone, and he loved his job,” he added.

An entertainment journalist in the country, Cédric Lyonnel Sehossolo, who spoke on the demise of Mermans, said the orchestra, which today is gradually emptying of its living legends, had fortunately prepared the succession for several years.

“However, the elders draw the younger generation’s attention to humbly follow in the footsteps of their predecessors in order to preserve the soul of this mythical group of the Congolese rumba,” he said.

“This series of disappearances of the fathers of Congolese rumba reopens the debate on the succession, the preservation of the musical heritage of the orchestra and the redistribution of their copyright.

“These founding fathers did not have the time to solve the problem of the earnings of their music generated by international distribution platforms whereas today we have local platforms that secure the sale of these songs,” he concluded.


Hollywood actor, Idris Elba, to open film studio in Tanzania



Hollywood British actor, Idris Elba, has concluded plans to invest in a major film studio in Tanzania, Director of the country’s Presidential Communications, Zuhura Yunus, has revealed at a press conference on Monday.

The plans to open the world class studio, according to Yunus, came following discussions between the star actor and his wife, Sabrina Elba, after a recent meeting with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the 53rd World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Elba, whose mother and father hail from Ghana and Sierra Leone respectively, in an interview after the meeting was reporter to have said:

“I’m really keen on the development of Africa. My parents come from Africa and more than anywhere in the world, I feel like that continent deserves some real tender care and love and thought.”

“Young Africans view me as a leader or a beacon. And I feel like I could bring something. So I’m keen to bring what I’ve learned in media and amplify it in Africa,” he said.

While briefing journalists on the outcome of President Hassan’s recent trip to Davos, Yunus said the discussions are progressing.

“Discussions on the project have just begun, and if successful, the project will help not only Tanzania but also Eastern and Central Africa,” she said.

Elba has become a very popular actor in Africa following his epic performance as Nelson Mandela in the biopic film named ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ in the 2013.

The 49-year-old actor also starred in the movie ‘Beast’, which was entirely shot in South Africa, and had revealed that he wants to pave the way for more major films to be made on the continent.

Apart from acting, Elba also established his career as a musician and has performed as a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driss and as an R&B musician.

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Nigerian Afrobeat megastar, Burna Boy’s ‘Last Last’, gets RIAA Certification



Nigerian Afrobeat super star, Burna Boy, has reached another giant stride in his career as his smash single, “Last Last”, has received the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certification after the track surpassed a million units in sales in the United States.

The certification of the single on Saturday, was announced by reputable chart news platform, Chart Data.

Released in 2022, as one of the lead singles in Burna Boy’s sixth album, “Love, Damini”, “Last Last” has gone on to become one of his greatest hits with international acclaim seeing it exceed over a million units in sales, which positioned the singer his second RIAA platinum plaque after his 2018 smash hit “YE”.

Shortly after its release, the single quickly became an international smash hit and spent multiple weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 44.

The RIAA platinum certification has also seen Burna Boy join other Nigerian stars like CKay, Wizkid, and Tems as artists with the plaques.

The RIAA awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets.

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