Covid 19 claims Africa’s ace jazz artist Manu Dibango

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Manu Dibango
An undated portrait of Afro-funk saxophonist Manu Dibango. He died Tuesday in Paris after contracting the coronavirus.

As the Corona virus pandemic continues to ravage the world, many lives are being cut short despite the measures taken to contain it.
With Italy as the most hard hit, after China from where it emanated, the pandemic has taken aggressive spiral across many other parts of the world with mammoth cases also in the US, South Korea, Australia and others. Gradually the pandemic is slowly rising in Africa.
One of the high profile deaths recorded by the virus is Cameroonian legend and afro-jazz maestro, Manu Dibango, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 86 after contracting the virus.
The veteran musician, who tested positive for the virus March 18, died in a Paris hospital.
According to his music publisher, Thierry Durepaire, “He died early this morning in a hospital in the Paris region.” His Facebook page also confirmed his death via a statement Tuesday.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to covid 19,” the statement read.
“His funeral service will be held in strict privacy, and a tribute to his memory will be organized when possible.”
Dibango, who was born in Douala in 1933, was well-known for his trademark infusion of indigenous Cameroonian music with funk and jazz.
“After being a German colony, Cameroon became a French protectorate. When the French navy came to Douala, they brought modern Western music with them. African performers played in the bars and hotels where white people stayed,” he disclosed about the kind of music he listened to in his native Cameroon while growing up in a 1991 interview.

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