Thanks to David Ochan, the much-sought after Sambuluma has been found.

Having never heard this particular track before, I have to let you know that for some reason, listening to it reminded me of an old Les Wanyika favourite of mine, Sina Makosa. Between the “in your face” horn section right at the introduction with the pause for dramatic effect followed by the bit when Tabu Ley does a line and horn punctuates, to the “ele le le lei lei le le li lo” chant, it seems clear to me where Les Wanyika received their inspiration for the opener to Sina Makosa from.

East African rhumba circa 1970/1980Tabu Ley Rochereau – Sambuluma pt. 1

East African rhumba circa 1970/1980Tabu Ley Rochereau – Sambuluma pt. 2

And as an extra bonus, here is Asambalela
East African rhumba circa 1970/1980Tabu Ley Rochereau – Asambalela

Sorry about that folks, the link to Asambalela is now fixed. However, sitewide file sharing is down. For right now, you can find the file at this link

- Steve

One of the most interesting things to come out of the conversation about this track in the last post for me is the realization that there is a dire need for this music to be documented. Even the best discographies out there are incomplete for many artists who performed in East Africa over the middle part of the last century and it will be a terrible loss if it comes to pass that the music and the context in which it was made and enjoyed is just forgotten.

Enjoy the tracks and please post to thank David for providing these gems that I had never heard before and Daniel for asking for them.

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

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92 Responses

  1. Esororo says:

    @ Kabuga

    I will post some soon for you brother.

    @ Everyone

    For some of you this track might ring closer.

  2. Lydia says:

    @ Esororo

    Thanks for all the good music you have posted, I especially enjoyed Ngungi-

    @Samuel and others
    here is Eden

    Can anyone help me out with this one I’m not too sure about the name of the song or the artist – Thanks

  3. Alias Mavatiku says:

    @ David Ochan,

    I’ve sent you a couple of messages (re: Chakula kwa Jirani) on your account. Have you received them?


  4. Esororo says:

    @ Lydia

    You are welcome. I am happy that you are enjoying the music. I also thank you for the posting you have done here too.

  5. Daniel says:


    Here is a revised version of Sambuluma. I joined both parts into one (pretty seamless transition from Pt A to Pt B at the first try I thought). I attempted to remove some of the crackle but that eliminated all the treble as well as much of the body of the song. So I left the crackle alone. But I was able to enhance some of the bass without creating any distortion. I hope you like it. Thanks. Daniel

  6. Samwiri says:

    Quality is great, webale nyo sebo (thank you). The base gets really bouncing. I will enjoy and so will the rest of the blog family.

  7. Alias Mavatiku says:


    Thanks to David Ochan, it’s my pleasure to post another East African classic from the 70′s: CHAKULA KWA JIRANI, by the late great Tanzanian musician, Mbaraka Mwinshehe and his Tabora Jazz Band:

    IMHO, The rhythm guitarist in this song (Segere Matata?) rivals the great rhythmists of the period, during their creative primes (eg Professeur Vata Mombassa/Lipua-Lipua; Lokassa ya Mbongo/Afrisa International; Frank Mbalire/Tames)

    CHAKULA has not yet made it onto David’s sharing site ( but he was able to dig it out of his archives for me.

    As a bonus, he also sent me another Tabora Jazz oldie but goodie, KITENGE YA CHIKUKUU:



  8. Samuel says:

    @Lydia. Merci bcp. Apart from the nostalgia I like the words of l’Eden. Aimée Aimée tu es à moi je suis à toi… Tu es ma moitie…A good wedding song when one understands what Theo Blaise Kounkou is saying.

  9. gilly says:

    @Lydia, Ochan

    L’Eden will remain a geat hit for a long time, asanteni.
    @Mutunga, Samuel, Any free English traslation?

    @Samwel, Mavatiku,

    Just a litltle correction.
    KITENGE (cha Sikukuu – released 1971), is a work of Mara Jazz (Wana sensera), based in Musoma town, Tanzania. ,

    Post 57 above, Tabora jazz (wana Segere matata) was led by Shem Karenga. Their most popular hit was Dada ASHA and Dada LEMMY. Mbaraka Mwinshehe performed with only two bands in his lifetime, Morogoro jazz band (1968-1972) and Les Volcano (1973-1979)
    Mbaraka on Swahili Blog:
    Lastly, but not least, enjoy Lemmy, Tabora Jazz :

  10. Alias Mavatiku says:

    @ gilly,

    Thanks for the clarification re: Kitenge.., Tabora Jazz & Mbaraka Mwinshehe. I had my (aging) neurons crossed :-)


  11. Fred says:

    Ochan, you might remember one track by Verckys Veve some time in 1971/2 by the name Gilmo. If you or any one has it please, post it here. I would love to remember those golden days. Thanks.

  12. Samuel says:

    I have seen your request on L’Eden.

  13. gilly says:


    Thank you in advance!

    Anyone with Afro (original version), Safari ya Samburu and Zaina by Les Wanyika? Sikujua Utabadilika(original) by Simba Wanyika?

  14. Samuel says:

    @Gilly, Litteral trnslation of Eden

    And God created man and from the man came the woman
    It was the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden
    It was happiness, then came betrayal
    Because of the fruit of sin yes all suffer you and me

    Even if your feet my feet my beautiful one, we have to be wise
    Because for ever we are one
    You have to be wise

    Love is said love
    You are mine and I am yours

    I don’t blame you my beautiful one for this apple of Eden
    That you gave me and that we ate together you and me
    You are my half, I love you so much my dear
    Half you half me

    we are one (united) for the best and for the worse
    You will for ever be on my side my company forever

    Yesterday it was Eden, the Eden today here on earth
    Let’s make life simple dear for for the sake of happiness and love

    In Martinique, Guadalupe they know how to love, in Congo Brazaville, Gabon, Senegal…they know how love…
    OO Eden, because of Eden

  15. Samuel says:

    @Mutunga, Lydia
    This is what i have translated above, you check the lyrics and the translation please.

    Et Dieu créa l’homme et de l’homme venu la femme
    C’était l’histoire d’Adam et Eve dans le jardin d’Eden
    C’était le bonheur puis vint la trahison
    A cause du fruit du pêché si nous souffrons toi et moi
    Même si ton pied mon pied oh ma belle il faut être sage
    Puisque pour l’éternité nous sommes unis
    Tu dois être sage
    Aimer est dit aimer
    Tu es à moi je suis à toi
    Je ne t’en veux pas oh ma belle pour cette pomme de l’Eden
    Que tu m’avais donné et que nous avons mangé ensemble toi et moi
    Tu es ma moitié, je t’aime trop chérie
    Moitié toi, moitié moi

    Je suis Adam tu es Eve d’aujourd’hui..
    Je serai toujours près de toi

    Nous nous sommes unis pour le meilleur et pour le pire
    Tu seras toujours à mes côtés ma compagne de toujours
    Hier c’était l’Eden, l’Eden d’aujourd’hui c’est cette terre
    Simplifions nous la vie chérie pour le bonheur et l’amour
    A la Martinique, à la Guadeloupe on sait aimer, au Congo Brazza, au Gabon, au Sénégal, on sait aimer,…

  16. Samuel says:

    @All, this time on Choir Music,
    In my days in secondary school in Kenya ( I am an 8 4 4 pioneer) there was a song for schools participating in the national school music competion known as

    “Safari ya Bamba ni Machero”.

    Anyone with an idea where such songs are sold?

  17. kabuga says:


    I guess safari ya bamba is available courtesy of muungano choir. Kayamba Afrika might also have it in their repertoire.

  18. Mutunga says:

    @gilly, Samuel, Lydia:

    When French lyrics are set to such a fast-paced rythmn such as the one in “L’Eden”, my ears can’t keep up. I’ve been hearing this song since the mid 1980s and there are still bits I can’t hear distinctly. “Catching the word” is a bigger challenge than translating. In the perpetually repeated chorus, I seem to hear “aimée, aimée” (beloved, beloved) but I wouldn’t swear to that. There are certain frequencies I can’t hear, and I confess I’ve been attending ENT clinics once a year (Machakos, Nairobi, Oxford, Milan) ever since I was 20. I hardly ever touch headphones as they have a tickling effect on my ears! Samuel has done a much better job of trascribing the lyrics than I’d ever have accomplished.

  19. kabuga says:

    L’eden, Bana, Double double, manuela, becuse no money, santa isabella and Gemile occupy a special place in my heart.

    L’eden was released in 1982 or early 1983 because i remember enjoying it in my form 1 in 1983.

  20. Samuel says:

    Know somewhere I can get santa Isabella and Gemille?
    And Pepe by Nyboma? I knew them before learning french. I would like like to hear them now and get the lyrics. Some of these guys were good in guitars but not quite so in lyrics. Like Lokassa ya Mbongo in Marie José is just giving a lecture on use of money to a lady. Nothing great in lyrics but great in guitar playing.

  21. kabuga says:


    I have santa isabella and Gemille on cd. Wl organize to avail them.

    As for pepe, you’ll find it in one of these blogs, or There is quite some stuff therein.

  22. gilly says:

    @ Mutunga
    Ive seen No 68 above. Usijali. pole.


    Again Thanks alot for the translation.

    Even single week waiting for santa Isabella will suffocate my heart! pse make it happen.

  23. Lydia says:

    @Samuel and others

    Here is Gemile…. enjoy

  24. Lydia says:

    Some more for Theo Blaise Kounkou fans


    Pepee la Jolie

    Have a great weekend all.

  25. Samuel says:

    @Lydia, Thanks, Thanks, Thanks for Bibelo. When I feel down and regress to my adolescent days this is one of the tunes that ring in my mind. I had it once in a tape that I had bought at melodica, but I left it at home. It’s been 8 years that I hadn’t heard Bibelo. Today after finding it here I have played and replayed it the whole day.
    Thanks too for Gemile and Pepe la Jolie.

  26. Samuel says:

    I haven’t succeeded in getting Pepe in the link above. After the download for free, my system doesn’t recognise the format.

  27. Lydia says:


    You’re most welcome. For Pepe see Esororo’s latest post (p=190)he has included it along with some other great tracks.

  28. kabuga says:


    Now get Pepe Bougier here

    For all fans, welcome to my blog.

  29. kabuga says:


    Pepe Bougier is here

    For all fans, welcome to my blog.

  30. kabuga says:


    Pepe Bougier is here

  31. kabuga says:

    Samuel and ALL OTHERS,

    Welcome to my site

  32. kabuga says:

    Kindly visit

  33. kabuga says:


    Pls delete the inadvertent postings. I was getting the wrong signal.

  34. Samuel says:

    Thanks a lot for Pepe. I am just from magomayetu.

  35. Mavatiku Visi says:

    Sorry for reviving an old thread, but I thought this audience may be interested in this exuberant version of “Asambalela”:

    It’s a cover by King Kester Emeneya, titled “Assamba”, as he played L’Olympia in Paris in the early 90s, some 20+ years after Tabu Ley and Afrisa debuted soukous there.

    Happy New Year! Bon Anee!

    Bill “Mavatiku” Muyanja

  36. Achol says:

    Been looking for chakula kwa jirani by good luck you are the one to come to my rescue.

  37. BULASIO says:


  38. BULASIO says:


  39. Abdul says:

    Ey this is one o those places that i need to be i recently just started downloadin the ekibolingo. This is music to a super classical state…

    Thanks guys you are true soldiers..

    I been looking for one that goes sha-lalallaaaa ashante papa sha-lalalaaaa ashante, Bolingooooooo i think its by Franco but i dono the name. Let me kno if you guys hav it

    Thanks again

  40. Hi Steve,

    I’m desperate to find out who played the track Seketa. And is it obtainable?


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