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Great show to mark Bonga's 78th anniversary


Fri, 04 Sep 2020 13:31 - Updated Fri, 04 Sep 2020 13:35

Great show to mark Bonga´s 78th anniversary. Photo: Angop/ Benguela

Luanda - Two months after performing in the "3G do Semba" show, with Paulo Flores and Yuri da Cunha, the Angolan veteran musician Barceló de Carvalho "Bonga Kuenda" will return to the big stages on September 6th, to celebrate his 78th anniversary.


Just like the performance of 28 June, the anniversary show of the renowned artist will take place in Portugal, with live transmission for thousands of viewers.

In an interview with ANGOP, regarding the birthday, Bonga said he looked forward to the performance, and reiterated the need for the country to invest in youth education and to ensure a "smooth" testimony handover between generations.

With a long musical career, full of stories and awards, the musician says that he does not want to see, in Africa, what is seen in Europe and America: the struggle of old and new.

"Educate Africans more, so that we don't fall into the same mess, so that the handover of the testimony is smooth", stressed the artist, who has an artistic career spanning 48 years.

Bonga is author of hits like "Olhos Molhados", "Galinha Kasafa", "Não Acode", "Marika ", "Mariquinha", "Currumba", "Piô-Piô ", "Mona", "Jingonça", "Camakove" ,"Kaxexe”, “Água Rara” and “Mulemba Xangola”.

He also seized the occasion to mention the remarkable moment, for him, he had during an audience granted to him by President João Lourenço, who honoured him with a Medal of Bravery and Social Merit of First Class, as well as the Knight's Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters that, a distinction he received from the French Presidency.

Bonga's Profile

José Adelino Barceló de Carvalho was born in 1942, in Quipiri, in the province of Bengo (central-north), in Angola. The family treated him affectionately by Zeca.

His childhood was spent in neighbourhoods of the Angolan capital, such as Coqueiros, Ingombota, Bairro Operário, Rangel and Marçal, where there was an intimate environment of preservation of Angolan music and traditions, marginalized by the colonialist domination present at the time.

The folklore of the musseques (poor neighborhoods) suddenly fascinated little Zeca who, therefore, began to attend and participate in classes in the typical districts of Angola, where he started his musical activity. It was in the Marçal neighbourhood where he founded the Kissueia group.

Bonga decides to create his own musical style, affirming the specificity of Angolan culture, in a very troubled time

Musical Career

In 1972, in Holland, he released his first album "Angola 72", in which he sings, essentially, the revolution and the love for his country.

It is at this time that Barceló de Carvalho is renamed Bonga Kuenda, an African name that means "the one who sees, who is ahead and in constant motion".

Bonga performs for the first time in the United States, in 1973, at the celebration of Guinea-Bissau's independence, as part of a tribute show for Lusophone culture. In April 1974, Bonga launched "Angola 74".

In the 1980s, he became the first African artist to perform solo, two consecutive days at the Coliseu dos Recreios venue (Lisbon), having been the first African to win Gold and Platinum Records in Portugal.

His success extends beyond Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) borders and Bonga performs at Apollo, in Harlem, at S.O.B. in New York; at the Olympia in Paris, Switzerland, Canada, the Antilles and Macau.

His success is the result of hard, intensive and methodical work and a creative imagination that characterizes his entire career.

Bonga has received numerous popularity awards and honors in relation to his work, where he has several distinctions, medals and gold and platinum records.

His themes have been interpreted by distinguished international artists, such as the Brazilians Martinho da Vila, Alcione and Elsa Soares, Mimi Lorca (France), Bovic Bondo Gala (Democratic Republic of Congo), Heltor Numa morais (Uruguay) and many new school artists.