Profile: Lulendo Matumona aka General Defao

The late General Defao. [Courtesy]

Congolese singer and song composer Lulendo Matumona aka General Dafao established himself as one of the best in the Congo music industry, due to his ability to sing songs in the native Congo language as well as English.

In brief:

Born 31 December 1958

Height:  5 feet 8 inches

Music Career

  • Started singing in 1976 in a small music group in Kinshasa.
  • He was inspired by Congolese musicians such as Papa Wemba, Nyoka Longo, Gina Efonge Evoloko, and 4 singers of the Zaiko group in the 70s.
  • He broke away from his group to form his own band, The Big Star in 1991
  • Defao fled Kinshasa to Nairobi in 2002, the year President Joseph Kabila came to power.
  • In 2002, he was controversially locked up at the Industrial Area Prison in Nairobi for six months over unpaid hotel bills after his promoter defaulted. He was eventually bailed out by a fan, who fulfilled the court’s surety conditions.

  • He used to stay in Nairobi's Lavington estate with his Kenyan wife.
  • General Defao returned to DR Congo after 18-year exile in Kenya in 2019 on change of regime
  • He did his comeback concert tour of Europe in 2020 after over 17 years.
  • He has over 20 songs to his name, famous among them; Moski, Zouk, Familie Kikuta, Madova, Mokolo Mosusu, Bana Congo 2, Nadine, Bolingo among others.
  • Kenyans remember him as the man who popularised the 'ndombolo' dance style together with Koffi Olomide.

Net Worth

  • General Defao has an estimated net worth of Sh80 billion or USD$800,000.
  • He made his money from the selling of his music and also from his music concerts.