So long Dan, the talisman of Mapantsola

Ntuane and Dan Tshanda
Ntuane and Dan Tshanda

When Congolese icon, Papa Wemba breathed his last on stage at Femua festival on April 24, 2016 in Abdijan, every troubadour dreamt of dying live as parts of the world that enjoyed his music went into mourning. .

But even then, they were in the words of Chinua Achebe, outsiders weeping louder than the bereaved. The  most palpable  grief  was felt  in  the community of Sapeurs, the dandy,  immaculately turned out movement of  gentlemen  who  provide  quite  a  spectacle  in  the two capital cities of DRC Kinshasa and Brazzaville Congo, separated  by two kilometres  of   yellow brown waters  of the   mighty  river  that  is the   artery  and giver of  life  in the Congo Basin  of Central  Africa.

Sapeurs were the profoundly bereaved because  their pope  was no  more.  I am reminded of  this  most fascinating  of  sub cultures  as we bury Dan Tshanda,  who  departed  a fortnight ago to   join the  great  gig  in the  sky with  former band mates Penwell Kunene, Joseph Tshimange  and the promoter, my friend Super Letshabo. Next  to family  and close friends, the fear  that  haunts every music fan is the demise of a much loved  idol. Life is made up of building blocks that  combine  to  make  us  complete individuals, and  for  every life ever conceived is accompanied by  a soundtrack through all rites of passage till our final epilogue the spiritually-inclined have hymns, the hedonistic  have rock, the  suave and pretentious have jazz.

Editor's Comment
Keep your mask close

Wearing of masks behind closed doors has been mandatory following the government’s August decision that the public was freed from masking in outdoor spaces.According to a press statement from the ministry, all other remaining COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing in schools and requirements for vaccination or PCR tests at ports of entry have also been relaxed.Statistics still show that hundreds still die daily due to the pandemic around...

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