Mar 22, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Mbilia Bel bears message of peace on Kenyan visit

Congolese singer Mbilia Bel will be the lead performer at the African Night concert taking place at Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi on Saturday night.

The promoter of her tour, Jules Nsana, who runs JNsana Promotions, said, that Bel and her band will remain in the country for a few more days with the possibility of hosting additional concerts.

Bel has had a string of hits with singer and band leader Seigneur Tabu Ley Rochereau and is popular throughout East Africa. In June 2017 she had a show at Club Meladen in Nairobi’s Upper Hill district and most recently performed in Kenya at Koroga Festival 2019 – the then main event of her Nairobi tour – also arranged by JNsana Promotions. She shared the stage with compatriot Kanda Bongo Man, who lives in London.

On her recent visit, which coincides with political campaigning for the August 9 general election, she joined Kenya’s party presidential candidate Azimio la Umoja One, Raila Odinga, on the way.

Mr. Odinga invited her to sing one of her most popular songs Nakei Nairobi (Lingala for “I’m going to Nairobi”).

At the impromptu performance on Tuesday, Bel urged the crowd and Kenyans in general to promote and embrace peace during the election campaign and invited them to dance with her.

Nakei Nairobi was named in honor of the composed by former President Daniel arap Moi and the Kenyan cities of Mombasa. Kisumu and Nakuru. The song was intended to promote unity between the Kenyans and Congolese living in the country.

Last week in an interview hosted by veteran Kenyan broadcaster Fred Obachi Machoka in Nairobi, Bel expressed her delight at being able to perform to be invited back in Kenya.

“Kenya is like my second musical home and I’m always honored to be invited to perform here,” she said.

Tabu Leys Afrisa International toured Kenya in 1982, just months after Bel, who was originally a dancer, joined the band. Then she carved a niche for herself as a top singer.

Bel joined Afrisa International after the departure of her fellow singer and dancer Yondo Sister, who was pursuing a solo career in 1982.

On Bei Bel’s first trip to Kenya she performed the lead vocals in Tabu Ley’s Kamunga hit. She performed his other compositions including Eswi yo wapi?, Nadina and Cadance Mudanda.

At Tabu Ley’s Afrisa International she sang alongside Faya Tess and Beyou Ceil, both based in Europe