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Paris c'est l'Afrique (1989): Manu Dibango introduces Les Têtes Brûlées

PAM gets you to discover a new excerpt from the documentary film series Paris c’est l’Afrique that French journalist Philippe Conrath directed in… 1989! Manu introduced his compatriots Les Têtes Brûlées. Soon on PAM, the full series.

Another memory of Manu’s life, another excerpt from the documentary film Paris is Africa, by Philippe Conrath (original title: Paris c’est l’Afrique; 1989). Here, the saxophonist (among others) introduces Les Têtes Brûlées, the famous band that revolutionized the Cameroon-based genre bikutsi in the mid-80s, giving it a fresh rock twist. Indeed, the “doyen” of all African musicians settled in France (after Francis Bebey) was not only the man of the “makossa” (though a “soul”-infused version), but of all Cameroonian music (on top of bikutsi: assiko, and even ambass-bey he put a spotlight on during his last show, “Safari Symphonique” at the Grand Rex in Paris). Above all, he was second to none when it came to talent-spotting the others and support them. How many musicians has he helped, advised, and launched? The scale of the emotion that his very recent death raised is proportional to the quantity of people he encouraged.

In this sequence, in addition to the intimidated members of Les Têtes Brûlées – apart from late guitarist Zanzibar and artistic director Jean-Marie Ahanda, feeling more at ease with Conrath’s camera – we have the privilege to witness Manu’s surprising comments – full of imagery, funny, caustic and thoughtful. You will discover his own peculiar chess game and his comments on Les Têtes Brûlées, which he says they know “how to go from the village to the moon and back.” Manu himself spent his life making these trips back and forth. A feel-good video that rejuvenates us all by thirty years!

Paris c’est I’Afrique, a documentary series by Philippe Conrath, soon to be discovered on PAM.

Read next: Goodbye, Manu! Our tribute to our African uncle