Wendo Kolosoy - On The Rumba River
Along the Congo River sails a boat which never sank. A boat called Rumba. As the helm, Papa Wendo, 82 years young, continues to sing his rumba, the irresistible music that sets alight the eyes of dancers, and conjures up soft and sad nostalgia.
At the end of 2004, and perhaps for the last time, Wendo went back into the recording studio as part of "On the Rumba River", a film about him directed by Jacques Sarasin.
Just like a return upstream to the source, this CD also features some of the film's sound track as well as recordings made in 1950 and 1992.
It was while sailing up and down the majestic Congo River, manhandling the ropes and greasing the boat parts, that Wendo started to write his first songs. Strumming his guitar, his eyes lost and wandering in the fascinating river surroundings.
An orphan from early childhood, then expelled by the Belgian order of the Christian Brothers on the grounds that his texts disturbed young people, he became a professional boxer. All these ingredients form the stuff of a uncommon life, that of a man named Antoine Kolosoy, known to one and all as Wendo.
His hour of glory came in 1948 with the release of "Marie-Louise", his first Pan-African recorded song. He became the first superstar of Congolese music, and retained this status during the 60s, at a time when many African countries were egaining their independence and even the wildest dreams and desires seemed possible.
Wendo is the founder of the Congolese rumba, exported to Cuba by the transatlantic slave trade. In the words of his fellow countrymen, Wendo is now considered a "monument" in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
film website : www.rumbariver.com