Congolese soukous legend Aurlus Mabele dies

Mabele pix

Soukous music legend Aurlus Mabele. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Fans of soukous music are mourning the death of Paris-based musician Aurlus Mabele, who succumbed on Thursday to a coronavirus infection, coming as he was suffering the effects of a stroke years ago.

The 67-year-old Mabele was from Congo Brazzaville.

Speaking to the Nation on Friday, his counterpart, Nyboma Mwandido, confirmed the news, adding that a family member got information of the Covid-19 infection from the French hospital Mabele was receiving treatment at.

"We are liaising with family members on funeral arrangements. We'll also get more details from the hospital on his medical condition," he said.

Mabele, guitarist Diblo Dibala, Rammy Salomon and Jean Baron were members of Loketo Band, formed in mid-1980s.

Some of their popular songs include "Extra Ball', "Douce Isabella" and "Choc a Distance".

Kenyans got a chance to watch him live in 1991. He was backed by his new solo guitarist Dally Kimoko, Jean Baron and then-drummer Awilo Longomba.

Lingala musician Sammy Wamuri (Ya Kembo) said he attended all his shows and is saddened by his death. "It was Aurlus who made me love soukous music," he said.

Rhumba fan and media personality Catherine Karanja said she kept a collection of the band's music.