'Papa Lolo’ composer is dead but what did the song really mean?

By Vincent Kejitan | Saturday, May 4th 2019 at 09:48
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Rhumba lovers on Saturday woke up to the sad news of the passing on of Congolese singer and songwriter Mose Se Sengo (Fan Fan).

The deceased, who was on a recording tour in Nairobi, collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Kasarani.

Considered one of the pioneers of Soukous, a popular genre of dance music in the Congo basin, Fan Fan had vast experience in music, including playing with the late Franco Luambo Makiadi and the TPOK Jazz, a popular soukous band from the DRC that was formed in 1956.

He had many songs but for some reason, Papa Lolo was loved the most especially in Kenya.

Almost all revelers and music lovers have at some point danced to the song or sang along to it (never mind the lyrics).

Papa Lolo is one of those ‘feel good’ rhumba songs that has a therapeutic feel.

In 2017 during an interview with a local TV station, Fan Fan stated that he composed the song to mourn the demise of his son Lolo.

Generally, it is a sad song that also talks of witchcraft and how some people are hypocrites in the sense that they mix the light and darkness.

“A boni, boni banga nga ba belela ndoki eh Butu eyindi mokolo ya ba ndoki ba ngalaka, Nzambe Tongo etani ba kolo nzoto ba memi makambo Ah na leli mama ah Na leli papa ah Na leli mama ah Na leli papa ah…”

(Why do witchdoctors praise the powers of darkness? When night falls, it is dawn for them and time to praise their god. When morning comes they claim to be holy and saved. I am crying for my mama; I am crying for my papa.)

“Papa Lolo eh Ba bwaki yo wapi eh Papa Lolo eh Ba bwaki yo wapi eh Na mokili ba ndimaka moto te oh Osange langalia katika Mokili leka ba landa yo eh Ebale ezanga mikuwa eh”

(Lolo, where did they dump you? In this world people do not accept anyone, never complain that you are getting a raw deal. Just mind your business and do what is right. All good things shall be added unto you. Remember the river is boneless.)

The singer further says that everyone has a purpose in society and wicked eyes will always be monitoring you.

He then praises God and looks back on creation, praising Him for breathing life in human beings and giving them power to rule in the Garden of Eden.

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