Rhumba legend Franco’s music still rules the roost

A name that has been firmly engraved into the hearts and memories of music lovers, young and old, is DRC’s Luambo Luanzo Makiadi Franco. Photo credit: Daily Nation.

Nearly 30 years since his death in a hospital in Belgium, legendary Congolese musician, the grandmaster Franco Luambo Luanzo Makiadi’s legacy lives on in the many hit songs that his TPOK Jazz churned out in more than three decades of a hugely successful musical career.

As his fans and lovers of the popular Congolese rhumba music throughout the world mark the 29th anniversary of his death in a Brussels hospital, today, in Kenya, the connoisseurs of his mercurial compositions will be reflecting on some of his timeless songs with deep social messages.

Those who understand Lingala have danced to the beats and savoured the poetry and the lyrical counsel.

Franco’s death marked the end of an era of a legend who had, for close to three decades, been in the front line of making immensely alluring music.


Franco’s music was loved in DR Congo and beyond, with the burly composer, guitarist, singer and band leader enjoying frenzied adulation in East and Central Africa and also in southern Africa.