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Daniel asked

Friends, somebody told me that maybe the trck we know as “Sambuluma” by Tabu Ley Rochereau may not actually be called that. We have searched far and wide, including having somebody in Nairobi try to track it down, but to no avail. Does any know which track we’re talking about? “Sambuluma”, “sambalalala”, those are the most repeated words in the song. It may have been Tabu Ley’s best recording, released around 1971-1972. Whatever help you may provide will be appreciated!

Dan Wilson Kuteesa

I like questions like this, they are hard to answer, very specific and demand good research or information if any kind of resolution is to be had.

So, I went online and found a more than decent Tabu Ley Rochereau discography courtesy of the good folks at AfricaAmbiance. I also took a bit of a dive into my copy of Rumba on the river.

Seems to me that there are only 2 tracks that could fit the bill here.

A.1. Cheri Samba (Ndombe Opetum) on GEN 127 – Tabu Ley, ‘Soum Djoum':

B.1. Sombo Sombo (Kiesse Diambu) on DM 5001 – Rochereau vol. 8:

Unfortunately, I possess neither of these tracks. So, I appeal to you out there: can anyone help?

While we wait, two Tabu Ley tracks.

The first is off the 1983 collaboration album that he did with the Grand Maestro himself Omona Wapi. This is a smooth tune – dare I even call it a ballad – that just goes down oh so well. This tune is often overlooked especially since it comes from an album with so many other completely solid tracks including the classic Kabaselleh in Memoriam

East African rhumba circa 1970/1980Franco and Rochereau – Lisanga Ya Ba Nganga

The second track is a collaboration with Patience Dabany paying tribute to the Grand Maestro off the 1993 compilation Super Guitar Soukous.

East African rhumba circa 1970/1980Patience Dabany & Tabu Ley Rochereau – Sango Ya Mawa

In other completely (unrelated) news:

this finally arrived at Casa Ntwiga about 5 or so days ago (thanks for the heads up on this Doug).

Moji & The Tropicals - Lets Stay together. (click through to see the high res version).

It is in pristine condition and I was really looking forward to listening to this. So, I fire up the old Dual 514 and …

I kid you not, the tonearm skates from the edge all the way to the center and up like it was on fire.

OK, lets try that again.

Same result, it does another Usain Bolt from edge to center.

So I take a gander at the tonearm and see this (click through to see the high res version)

Where's my needle at?

Where’s my needle at?


So, I am now back in the market for a new turntable.

If you can help, drop me a line.

Finally, if you are new to the site or trying to figure out how to do something, please read this.

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48 Responses

  1. John B. says:

    Yes, I remember Sambuluma. A friend loaned me a copy 20 years ago, and wouldn’t you know, it’s probably the only one I didn’t dub onto a 10″ reel. I’ve since digitized all my old reels, but not that song!

    It was a great 45. As I recall, there was a great guitar solo (by Dino Vangu?) during the sebene on side 2.

    I could just kick myself for not saving it. I would be thrilled if you come up with a copy.

  2. Douglas says:

    Why do you want a new turntable? It looks like you have a Sure cartridge. Just buy yourself a replacement stylus. And if you need a new cartridge, there are plenty available.

  3. Doug says:


    Are you sure you’re looking for a new turntable or do you just need a new stylus? It looks like you have a Sure cartridge. There are a whole bunch of people online selling stylus replacements and whole cartridges. Maybe that would get you back in business.

    And if you are looking for a turntable, contact me directly and I’ll relay my experience with a couple of different products.

  4. Esororo says:

    @ Steve,

    Here is where I have bought a needle before. Take a dive and check it out.

    Have fun.


  5. Mutunga says:

    Lisanga Ya Banganga (“Meeting of the sorcerers/wizards”) is a must have for all Franco & Rochereau Fans. My favourite track from this album is Ngungi (“mosquito”) and it brings back memories of some great grooving at African Society discos (St. Anthony’s College, Oxford) in the late 1980s. My audiotape is still in perfect condition but I must make a point of transforming it into digital stereo as soon as possible.

  6. gilly says:

    Obviously an association of Sorcerers of Music!

  7. Mutunga says:

    … Absolutely right, Gilly. Rochereau and Franco don’t refer to a reunion of the sorcerers of the Harry Potter variety, but to the Lisanga Ya Banganga Ya Bayembi (meeting of the song wizards).

  8. Joe says:


    People seemed to appreciate the track ‘Sina Kisomo’ you posted a few weeks back. I ran across this:


    I can’t vouch that this indeed KBS and that the track is what it says it is. It is not listed in the KenTan discography. Hopefully, somebody can fill us in with a bit more info.

  9. gilly says:


    Remember Manguta by TPOK Jazz? I believe it is one of the greatest songs of the group. This work is credited to Nguashi Ntimbo, the writer of famous ‘Shauri Yako’ released in Nairobi early 80s. I wish to share Manguta right here in our blog:


    @mutunga any idea of what they are singing?

    Enjoy also Aoko,Orch Mangelepa


  10. Tim says:


    The fact a song isn’t in the KenTanza discography doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or wasn’t released as a single. So far the discography (which I compile) contains just over 1,800 singles, which I reckon is a small fraction of the singles released in Kenya and Tanzania.

    New information always welcome at http://www.kentanzavinyl.com

  11. Esororo says:

    @ Muntunga

    Thank you for the tracks. How was your vacation and family?

  12. kingsam says:

    Time to share some of my collections!






    Music Brethrens, here is some cool music. These are some kind of stuff i can’t stop listening on and on. Just like someone said ealier here about music sorcerers; mmhhhh indeed these were serious sorcerers apparently. That Franco/sam mangwana sends me back years. Whenever this song was played, we used to imagine it was referring to me and my brother {I (sam) and my brother Frank} well that was then. By the way, whoever asked about “sambuluma” could you know what other songs were on the same LP/ cassette? I have several digital music by Tabuley rocheareu since 1960. I may have that song. I will be posting atleast 3 songs a week by Rocheareu, probably you may run into that song

  13. Mutunga says:


    Fine. The weather was cool and the food great. I dropped you a message at your homepage, just to say I was back.

  14. gilly says:

    Manguta by TP Ok jazz is also available for sharing


  15. Mutunga says:


    Thanks for the music, especially Toujours OK . I bought a copy of the album (on audiotape) in London but a brother of mine in Zimmermann estate, Nairobi, “borrowed” it and that was the last time I saw it.


    Matondi mingi mpo na mondule moye … Thanks so much for that hit. Manguta brings back some wonderful memories … I’ve always associated it with a young girl called “ Nguta “, a companion on the way to primary school. Isn’t soloist Josky Kiambukuta simply great in this track?

  16. Nobrun says:

    Can’t thank you enough kingsam. Great tunes.

  17. gilly says:


    Manguta is credited to Nguashi Ntimbo (any idea of what they are singing?), he also composed a goldern hit ‘Shauri yako’ (out of Ok jazz) in Nairobi early 80s.
    Josk Kiambukuta together with other popular OK jazz vocalists (Simaro Lutumba, Madilu System and Yulu Mabiala never play any music instrument( I stand to be corrected)
    TP Ok jazz top soloists were Franco himself and Marcelino

  18. Mutunga says:


    I reckon I got hung on the word “soloist” rather than “vocalist”. I meant to say that Josky Kiambukuta is great when he sings on his own in the call and response part of the song. I’ve only known Kiambukuta as a singer. “Manguta” is a proclamation of very profound love. The speaker sees his beloved as his chance to live and experience paradise. He tells he can’t sleep when she isn’t there “soki yo te, nakolala te”. Overpowered by her beauty, he sings of her face “elongi ya chérie”. A lot of emotion is packed into that song … maybe one day I’ll have a go at translating it fully. At present I’m tackling other songs and I’ll shortly post links here.

  19. sokari says:

    Hi steve – long time eh?

    My son just bought a bunch of albums on the Soundway label – Nigerian highlife from the 70s. Really good stuff so thought you might like to check out the label @ http://www.soundway.com


  20. Lydia says:


    I don’t know if this is the Cheri Samba you’re looking for… but here it is.


  21. Lydia says:

    Hi everyone

    A little something to push the week along

    Biantondi Kasanda – African Fiesta- Nico

    Kashama Nkoy – Tabu Ley

  22. Esororo says:

    @ Mutunga

    I know the weather this summer was cool here too. It was good for the pocket book. I did not get your massage.

    Here is a track for old times.

    @ Josephine

    Girl, it is time to break the silence. Share some of that music you got from home.

  23. Esororo says:

    @ Mutunga

    Sorry, Message not massage.

  24. Steve says:

    Hey guys

    Welcome back after the long summer break.

    Sorry about the delay in getting back to you: my wife and I took some time off to take our family out on a bit of a summer break to warmer places than the Great White North and just got back tonight. Being the Interet addict that I am, I am already back on the laptop 3 hours after getting back.

    I have approved all the comments that were stuck in limbo and I want to thank you all for the way in which you have contributed to this conversation here. It warms my heart to think that you are all still visiting.

    Normal service resumes Friday so put your listening caps back on.

    Another note: it seems that David Ochan has a copy of Sambuluma so we will hopefully get to listen to that within the next 2 weeks or so when he posts it. (go all the way to the end, it is the very last comment left on September 20th).

    – Steve

  25. Esororo says:

    @ Everyone

    Here is another fashion of Cheri Sambe by Tabu Ley.


  26. Mutunga says:


    Thanks for the music. It seems that putfile.com’s message system wasn’t working. I dropped a note to Mwanamuziki as well but he doesn’t appear to have got it. I’ll try again later.

  27. Peter says:

    Re “Sambuluma” – Mpisi’s biography of Tabu Ley has an extensive list of songs that Tabu Ley wrote between 1959 and 1998. No “Sambuluma” but there is a song called “Asambalela”. It’s on Tabu Ley’s 1970 “à l’Olympia” album:


  28. Daniel says:

    Steve and friends,

    First of all I want to commend you on this blog site. It’s excellent. Takes us back to the ’70’s. True, we would have no other way to obtain this out-of-print lingala music without your contributions. Keep up the good work! Also, thank you all very much for your interest in this song “Sambuluma”. I’m so glad I’m not alone in my quest to find it. “Asambalela” came so close I almost thought we had it. I have a feeling we’re about to find it here shortly. I will wait anxiously while I listen to your other contributors’ links. Thanks, guys!!

  29. Lydia says:


    A belated Hello and welcome back from your vacation.


    A while ago you requested mixes by various musicians, here is one by Sam Mangwana, Enjoy.


  30. David Ochan says:

    I got SAMBULUMA by Tabu Ley. Just give me a week or so and I’ll post it.

  31. David Ochan says:

    I lost your email. Can you send it to me and I forward you SAMBULUMA.

  32. kabuga says:

    Manguta has been terrific!

    Anyone with canta mozambique by sam manwana and soeto by Josky?

  33. gilly says:

    Hi all,
    The tracks below are Aoko. Mangelepa singing about a beautiful kenyan girl!

    Cherie Bondowe, Sam Manwana with TP Ok Jazz:

  34. Esororo says:

    @ Mutunga

    Any time brother. Music is always to be shared at this end.

    @ Kabuga

    Soweto is the track by Franco TP OK Jazz & Josky Kiambukuta.
    canta mozambique by Sam Mangwana is somewhere I can’t find right now. Call it old age.


  35. Mutunga says:

    Luckily, wa mucii, (kinsman) my files are not as vast as Esororo‘s so I had a look last night and I was able to find Sam Mangwana’s Canta Moçambique.
    And I’ve got a special dedication for you. Here’s Franco involved in a polyphonic duet that would make Zaiko Langa Langa go green with envy. Enjoy “>Georgette. This is bound to remind you of that Mossesse rythm you’re so fond of.
    BTW – A brother of mine married a girl from Murang’a (and paid brideprice) so, from a purely African perspective, that makes you my muthonua (brother-in-law). And that includes Steve too!

  36. Mutunga says:


    You’ll find Franco’s Georgette at this link in cyberspace. Sorry about the broken link above.

  37. kabuga says:


    You are right, we are your inlaws (athoniwa).

    The more reason why you need to keep the vibes coming lest we recall our kairitu.

    Would anyone have Bunny Mack’s easy dancing etc

    Asante sana.

  38. Daniel says:

    Guys, I think I just went to Heaven and back. It was my happiest moment of the day to see that very coveted “Sambuluma” finally show up on this post. It was all I could do not to wake up my sleeping wife in my excitement. Steve you are right in that precious music like this is in danger of being completely forgotten, to a point where I even considered the possiblity that it may have been called something else back in the old days. I had a brother in Nairobi looking for it, a cousin in England contacting Congolese friends around the world about it, a brother here in the US asking about it on the popular Ugandan UNAA.net, I received a myriad of responses and suggestions but nobody had it! You guys are lifesavers! David Ochan, Steve and others who took a look, “Webale nnyo, ba ssebo!” (Thank you very much, sirs!). Now I’m going to see if I can work some magic on it to remove some of the crackle.

    David I hope you got one of the tracks you asked for, “Fifi” by Les Kamale (check all the streams in September). It was the least I could do to repay you for taking us down memory lane.

  39. Fred says:

    Fellows, since we are craving for oldies, this link http://mwanasimba.online.fr/E_lingala.htm could give a few.

  40. Esororo says:

    @ Mutunga

    Here is Ngungi (”mosquito”) for your file I thought I save you some time.


  41. kabuga says:


    Can’t thank you enough for the soul Brothers. This was done during PW Bothas reign. How times change! Ongezea tafadhali.

    If my memory is right, there was also another group – Super Tens – from down under. Anyone with their music?

  42. Kip says:

    Jambo to all the lovers of Rhumba. Guys, I’m new here so pardon me if I miss something. I salute the site owners, promoters, contributors and all for making this a spectacular site. A few requests if you don’t mind.
    1. Manguta – it’s no longer available on the link. Please please whoever ha s to restore so i can get it. I’ve looked for it all over in vain.
    2. Amba – by Jimmi Monimambo and Shika Shika. Superb piece of art.
    3. There a song that goes “Shama shama sheri eeh! Kamuluko kamuluko kamuluko…” something of the sort. Some Radio DJ told me it goes by same name and was done by Verkys, but I’m not sure and doublt. Anyone with info. Will appreciate.


  43. Lydia says:

    Please post your requests on the latest thread as most people will not check on the old threads. Go to ntwiga.net/blog and scroll down to the first set of comments and post your requests or comments there. Otherwise welcome to the ntwiga blog it has been a joy for its frequent visitors.

  44. Cristine Stiebner says:

    Sir how can you help me to get Dr. Nico Kasanda albums. I am interesting with all what you have.

  45. 10 To view links or images in this forum your post count must be 10 or greater.

  46. I have some trouble to subscribe the rss feed, anyway I’ve bookmarked this site, is very useful and full of informations.

  47. abubakar says:

    Please can you find me a song with lyriks (Ekosala matata) repeatedly because i remember these words clearly till todau but I am not sure they are in what song.
    I wnt to know these because once my Father has been in Kenya between year 1980-1981 and He came with a radio cassete with only 4 songs and one of the songs was NGUNGI,
    I have already found Ngungi BUT despite searching and listen to every Tabuleyand Franco Music Iam still yet to find the remaining 3 songs!!! Could you please help me even that one with lyrics ekosala matata
    my regards

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