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Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photosSqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos


How East Africa said karibu to Tshala Muana’s Mutuashi

Congolese Musician Tshala Muana died on December 10, 2022 in Kinshasa aged 64. Photo | Getty Images

Tshala Muana had no limits at her concert. In her prime, she stepped up with a wild, weird and wicked package. In her twilight, she had her vixens in raunchier outfits, gyrating and legging up in ways that only she could have taught.

This was Mutuashi, her world. She was the queen and the entire global audience her subjects. On stage, she would do what she wanted with her body and with her subjects — including thrusting heads of men to her loins.

“Mutuashi has been part of one of the veins of Congolese folk music since the dawn of time,” said Papy Tex Matolu, a cofounder of once popular Soukous group Empire Bakuba led by Pepe Kalle.

“Tshala Muana has only propelled this part of our Kasaian culture from which it originates to the global audience.” American writer Gary Stewart, author of Rumba on the River, says in the book that Tshala Muana explained that Mutuashi was a Tshiluba word, “a shout of encouragement for dancers” that eventually became synonymous with the dance itself and with Tshala Muana herself too.

Tshala Muana brought Mutuashi from its heritage and served it to the world in a way that endeared her to audiences beyond the vast swathes of DR Congo, striking strong chords in Uganda where she remains arguably the most celebrated Congolese musician.

Her concerts were graced by the who-is-who of the society, mostly the men. Former army chief Gen James Kazini, former Speaker of Parliament James Wapakhabulo, Capt Mike Mukula, tycoon Godfrey Kirumira, and Trade Union Chief Usher Wilson Owere, among others, would show up like men who put promoter Tamukati at gun point to bring in the Queen of Mutuashi.

“The T in my name was inspired by seeing Tshala Muana’s because I thought it made the name Sheila look African,” said former MTN Uganda publicist Sheilah Kangwangye.

“I was only 13 and had discovered her music because rumba was the music my parents played when we were growing up. She was beautiful and her music! Even without knowing or understanding the language somehow, one just moved.”

Patrick Oyulu, a public relations guru added: “There is something about Tshala Muana that we Ugandans liked. She introduced what we call ‘Kimansulo’ (lurid dance). When she gyrated, she exposed legs, and men would dish out money for that. When ‘Dezo Dezo’ played, if you hadn’t paid your rent, you would go into hiding.”

Further east from the Congo into Kenya and to its south in Tanzania, her hit Karibu Yangu could have been claimed as a belonging. Karibu Yangu, in which a lover encourages her companion to get on and settle their marriage, is executed in Swahili.

It was one of the few songs she had recorded in a language other than Tshiluba. She had stuck to her mother tongue unlike most Congolese who sang in Lingala or French.

Mutuashi music was also distinct. Where rumba was driven by sizzling guitars, Mutuashi had heavy drumbeats and several instruments such as flutes, harmonica, timbales and keyboard incorporated to produce mellow beats.

Initially, Tshiluba appeared to limit her fame but Tshala Muana had no limit and with Mutuashi, she could conjure and capture all sorts of imaginations. “I love the fact that she stayed in her lane singing in her indigenous language and promoting her heritage. This was very unique,” says Tshaka Mayanja, a Ugandan reggae artiste.

READ FULL STORY HERE>>> How East Africa said karibu to Tshala Muana’s Mutuashi

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