Manu Dibango, the Cameroon Jazz Icon has been laid to rest at a private ceremony in the French capital, Paris where he died in a hospital from coronavirus infection last week.
Dibango won plaudits all over the world for his unique blend of jazz, funk and traditional West African styles in six decades of his career.
Following news of Dibango’s passing tributes flooded in from across Francophone Africa with condolence messages from the presidents of Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Gabon.
Dibango who is credited for putting African music on world map is one of the most high profile stars to die from Covid-19.
He is best known for his popular 1972 hit Soul Makossa and he also worked with leading musicians such as South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo and American jazz legend Herbie Hancock.
Famed music producer Quincy Jones sampled a central part of Soul Makossa for the Michael Jackson hit, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin in 1982, a track that appeared on the Thriller album.
“Ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa” was the phrase that became a central part of the hit song.
Although Jones sampled the song, Dibango was not given the proper credit for the track and later sued Jackson years later, but eventually the matter was settled out of court.
Soul Makossa was sampled and heard on several other records like Kanye West’s Lost in the World, Will Smith’s Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It, A Tribe Called Quest’s Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts) and Jay-Z’s Face-Off.
Angelique Kidjo, who wrote on Twitter in a tribute to Dibango, “You’re the original Giant of African Music and a beautiful human being.”