Of all the bands that immigrated to East Africa, Super Mazembe has stood the test of time.
Also famously known as Bana Mushoshothey have had an unmatched legacy of dance and style led by Longwa Didos.Super Mazembe started in 1969 in Likasi as Super Vox but on tour of neighboring Zambian 1970,the band met Nashil Pichen Kazembe,a diehard supporter of one of Zaire’s top football clubs and TP Mzembe,who impressed on the band to change its name from Vox to Mazembe(meaning earth mover).Kazembe subsequently become the band’s producer and manager and encouraged the band to move to Nairobi which had better recording facilities.The band hit the road to Nairobi in 1974, through Tanzania, just as many a Congolese band did back then.
Mazembe’s fortunes changed upon arrival in Nairobi in 1975.While they entertained patrons at Club Madunis(today’s Florida)where they were based they had their sights on recording more successful than they had hitherto done. In 1976, they signed up with EMI Record and released perhaps their greatest song to date-"Kasongo".
Super Mazembe’s ride to fame was interrupted when EMI closed shop in 1978.It also meant parting ways with their producer, kanindo.They moved to Al Records where they began to work with producer Felix Jakong’o for the next three years, but soon hit another obstacle when record sales slumped due to piracy. In 1982, Super Mazembe stopped recording altogether and concentrated on performing although they variously released songs as Bana Likassy.
Little was heard of Super Mazembe thereafter until 2006 when Kasongo wa Kanema decided to revive the dream.
"I did not want the band to die. Many people in their 30’s were asking for Mazembe songs and the music was not available on CD so we had to do something” says wa Kanema, who joined the band in 1978".
“The result was a modernized rearrangement of some of Super Mazembe’s greatest hits that sound just as fresh as when they were recorded 20-30 years ago".
This Greatest Hits remix relives the days when Bana Mushosho ruled East Africa’s live band scene with their Belly-Bottom outfits. But it is also carefully arranged to meet the taste of the contemporary lover of Rumba.
This remix features bandleader Kasongo wa Kanema and new generation of successors of Mazembe founders: Disco Longwa(Longwa’s son),Allain Maindu,Morris Kasongo(Kasongo’s son),Maranatha,Edino,Soleil,Gideon and Vicky Numbi.
The Band was poised to release a new album of their latest compositions in 2008 with the original Super Mazembe Band that comprised of Longwa Mutonkole Didos(band leader),Kasongo wa Kanema,Loboko Pasi Julie,Lovy Longomba,Dodo Doris,Katele Aley(vocalist);Bukasa Bukalos,Petit Musa,Rondo Kandolo,Kayemba Rapok and Atia Joe who passed on while this project was underway.