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African Ngwasuma

African Ngwasuma

African Ngwasuma (formerly Lokito Ya Congo) was founded by the multi instrumentalist Congolese musician: Renato Mondele in 2001 to promote soukous, the popular music of his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since its foundation, the band has been invited to several major festivals, released numerous CD's and has become a regular representative of Congolese music in the African Clubs of London, and touring regularly in the UK and internationally too.

Renato Mondele comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he grew up in Lulu Toto, Bas Congo province. He attended School in Tumba Kunda Dia Zayi then moved to the capital: Kinshasa, where he began playing the guitar and soon became a professional guitarist. He started his career in local bands; Lunda Freska, Monde Arabe and Stuning Mangenda.

The first big step in his career was between 1993-1999 when he was with band the 'Big Stars' of the legendary Congolese singer Defao Matumona popularly known as General Defao. The Big Stars Band was one of the most popular formations on the contemporary music scene in Kinshasa, where Renato contributed his talent on albums such as 'Sala Noki' and 'Amour Interdit.' In his time with The Big Stars Band, Renato toured Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Cameroun, Angola, Congo-Brazzaville and all over the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also played in cooperation with other famous Congolese stars such as Mbilia Bel.

In 1999, Renato started to work on solo projects whilst still working with Defao's Big Stars band. In 2001, he moved to London, United Kingdom, and started his own band called African Ngwasuma, that means: 'The Boom of Congo.' Besides that, as a session musician, he contributed on the albums of Kanda Bongo Man, another Congolese music icon now living in the United Kingdom, too. Renato accompanied Kanda Bongoman on music programmes including Jools Holland on BBC and at festivals including Glastonbury and Womad.

All of African Ngwasuma's musicians are experienced musicians. Renato carefully selects his bandmates, some also previously played in famous Congolese bands, like the bassist, Claude Bula, who played in the famous Choc Stars and also in The Big Stars. In 2009, Renato decided to give back to his community in Congo, so he went and assembled a band from scratch after rigorous auditions. After some rapid rehearsals with his new band in Kinshasa, Renato performed some 'explosive' shows before returning to London.


African Ngwasuma