Events at the festival:
Mbongwana Star is an ensemble formed on the foundations of Staff Benda Bilili – the group which was enthusiastically received in Poland a few years ago. ‘Mbongwana’ means ‘change’, and it is no surprise that the artists selected such a significant name.
When they were forming their first ensemble fifteen years ago, leaders Coco Ngambali and Théo Nzonza were driven by their love for Congolese rumba and its greatest stars such as the famous Tabu Ley Rochereau and Pépé Kallé. And they remain faithful to their first musical love.
The musicians intertwine guitar music with traditional rhythms and melodies, dazzling with their virtuoso instrumental skills and singing. Some of the group members contracted polio during childhood and now use wheelchairs, although this causes them no problems at all on stage. They are all full of energy and exuberance while performing live, and their positive emotions are soon picked up by audiences.
The artists will be promoting their debut album “From Kinshasa”, released by the legendary World Circuit label. The African artists are the latest addition to the label’s catalogue which includes such stars as Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Touré, Orchestra Baobab and Oumou Sangaré.