Music from Congo DR – Wendo Kolosoy

Antoine Wendo Kolosoy (April 25, 1925 – July 28, 2008), known as Papa Wendo, was a Congolese musician. He was considered the “Father” of Congolese rumba music, a musical style blending rumba, beguine, waltz, tango and cha-cha.

Wendo was born in 1925 in Mushie territory, Mai-Ndombe District of western Congo, then under Belgian colonial rule. His father died when he was seven, and his mother, a singer herself, died shortly thereafter. He was taken to live in an orphanage run by the Society of the Missionaries of Africa, and remained there until he was 12 or 13, expelled when the fathers disapproved of the lyrics of his songs. Wendo began playing guitar and performing at age 11.

Kolosoy became a professional singer almost by chance after having worked also as a boxer, sailor and longshoreman in Congo, Cameroon and Senegal. From 13 Wendo traveled as a worker on the Congo River ferries, and entertained passengers on the long trips. Between 1941 and 1946 he traveled as a sometime professional boxer, as far from home as Dakar, Senegal. Here´s his song “Camille “

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