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Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - Veteran Afro-Jazz maestro, Manu Dibango, has passed on after contracting Coronavirus.

The 86-year-old Cameroonian, who is best known for Grammy Award winning track ‘Soul Makossa’ which topped the charts in 1973 and went on to be sampled by various musicians including the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, and Rihanna, becomes the first global celebrity to die from the COVID-19.

“He died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region,” his music publisher, Thierry Durepaire, said.

Dibango was in Kenya in May 2018 where he was the headline act during the annual Safaricom International Jazz festival.

Speaking on Dibango, the late former Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore, said:

“It’s a privilege and a dream come true for us to host Manu Dibango as we kick off the events that will lead up to the 6th edition of the Safaricom International Jazz Festival next year.”

“Not only is he well known and loved world over, he brings to our stage an energy and fire that has been well stoked through a lifetime of passion for jazz, and puts us in the same league as some of the biggest jazz festivals on the continent.”


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