Exclusive: Lovi recalls final moments with his loving brother Christian Longomba
One of Kenya’s pioneers of local pop music, Christian Longomba, the other half of The Longombas is dead. He was 37. His death was announced by his brother Prophet Lovy Elias popularly known as Lovi Longomba, currently the founder and head pastor of Revelation Church of Jesus Christ based in California.
‘Lovi’ shared the news with his 62, 000 Instagram followers; which was followed by outpouring condolences from friends, fans and fellow musicians.
The singer died on Saturday in the United States, following complications he developed six years ago after a brain surgery.
In an exclusive interview with The Nairobian, ‘Lovi’ talks about the last moments with his brother and friend, explaining that Christian spent his last days surrounded by his family and that, “I was there with him all the way, until his last breath, I was there.”
He explains: “Christian and I spent a lot of time together. I don’t think I’ve spent as much time as I have with Christian,” he said, adding that his brother’s death, “Is a loss to me because I have lost my friend, my brother, my confidant and someone I traveled the world with.”
‘Lovi’ further told The Nairobian that, “Christian fought really well and to me it’s victory because we believe to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
And on the way to the hospital, “We just talked about our childhood memories and laughed a lot about it. He was heavily sedated to try and correct the seizures he was having. Whenever you’d speak to him and ask him to blink, he would do it to show that he has heard you.”
Christian developed complications after brain surgery
About his brother’s illness, Prophet Lovy explained that Christian developed complications after a surgery to remove a malignant brain tumour.
“When Christian was diagnosed six years ago, he suffered a seizure when I had traveled to Houston and I got a call that he was in the hospital so I flew back home and we discovered he had brain tumour that was malignant but it was stage four meningioma it was really big; as it had grown overtime and was pushing the brain to one side,” he said. “When they took it out, there was some brain tissue that was really severe so the first two years he was fine but the complications from the damage to the brain caused a lot of problems.”
He is urging their fans to remain strong and to continue praying for them. “In the words of Christian, I’d like to say thank you to all our fans and we love all of you. I know this is hard for you and I can’t imagine how hard it is for you, as I am also a big fan of Christian. I know Christian loved every moment of everything we did together for the fans and he was always for the people. Keep his memory alive by playing his music and listening to his music,” he told The Nairobian.
When music flows in the blood
Christian and his brother ‘Lovi Longomba’ come from a musical family. Their grandfather Vicky Longomba was an original member of Africa’s iconic band TPOK Jazz. His father Lovy Longomba was a member of Super Mazembe, a Congolese band; while their uncle is none other than celebrated France-based Congolese musician Awilo Longomba.
The ‘Longombas’ come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo but they were born in Nairobi, Kenya. The group entered the local music industry in 2002 with their hit song Dondosa followed by other hits such as Shika More and Piga Makofi and their most controversial song Vutapumz which was used to create awareness on HIV/AIDS.
The ‘Longombas’ exited Kenya's music scene and relocated to the United States, at the peak of their musical career when their song Queen had just hit the airwaves.