"Lapiro de Mbanga Ndinga Man e mandat don bolè today for Etaz! Erreur or no erreur die na ndos! Waka nayo Ndinga man. We go di follow ya 4 chapters di listen ya mutumbu until we own mandat bolè. We go di mimba you tara! All man must go one day ... RIP." Sarli Sardou Nana.
Originally published by Freemuse
Singer and musician Lapiro de Mbanga from Cameroon – the “unceremonial sheriff of the backyards” – has died, 56 years old.
Lapiro de Mbanga was a musical “freedom fighter” who articulated the daily injustices he witnessed in his songs – and was punished hard for his right to express them.
On 16 March 2014, Lapiro de Mbanga died of cancer in USA, the country which gave him asylum in 2012 at a time when he had to leave Cameroon under dramatic circumstances.
“Authorities in Cameroon continued to harass and threaten Lapiro even after he was released. He needed to get out of the country, and we needed to find an urgent solution,” told Freemuse Director Ole Reitov. With the help of Freedom Now, Lapiro was given refugee asylum in the United States.
“Lapiro said that Freemuse ‘saved his life’. He often told us that he ‘was ready to die’, but we never felt we were ready to loose him,” said Ole Reitov. “His songs will never die. He will always be remembered as ‘the people’s voice’ against corruption and power abuse.”