By: Robert Patrick Fati Gakwerere
Élisabeth Tshala Muana Muidikay known professionally as Tshala Muana, was a singer and dancer from DR Congo. Considered the “Queen of Mutuashi”, a traditional dance music from her native Kasai region, she is often called “Mamu National”.
In the early hours of today, Saturday, 10th December 2022, Tshala Muana died in Kinshasa at the age of 64.
Congolese will remember her commitment to the national and African cause, her music were Rumba mixed with the Luba tradition, hits such as Lwatuye, Karibu yangu, Nasi nabali, Cicatrice d’amour, Kokola, Moto…etc; rocket Africa region in 20th century, all with moral lessons and ethics.
Tshala Muana, was born in Lubumbashi. Tshala Muana’s father was a political activist in Lubumbashi, and Mzee Muidikay was brutally killed in 1964 during the Congo Crisis. Le Crise congolaise (Congo Crisis) was a period of political upheaval and conflict between 11965to 1965 in the Republic of the Congo, today referred as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In November 2020, Muana was arrested by the National Intelligence Agency (ANR), reportedly for her song “Ingratitude”, which was widely circulated over social media.
The lyrics center around a student who doesn’t pass his exams, and whose teacher nonetheless allows him to pass onto the next grade. Once passed, the student turns against his teacher. The song was interpreted by many to be a veiled criticism of President Felix Tshisekedi, toward his former mentor and predecessor, President Joseph Kabila. The singer is a public supporter of former President Joseph Kabila and his party, the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).