Part 1/2: Notable Songs with Madilu System in T.P OK Jazz

Madilu System, born Jean De Dieu Makiesse, passed on on 11th August 2007, a day after he had collapsed and was rushed to the University Hospital in Kinshasa (Kin) where he died the next morning, Saturday 11 August 2007. His last album, Le Bonne Humeur, was released posthumously

He had registered complaints about getting fatigued and neck pains while shooting videos. Madilu had been diabetic and hypertensive.

Also known as Le Grand Ninja, Multisystem and Pharaoh, the Pesa Position, RTC River, Maguy, Colonization, Vice Versa and Nzele (Somo) hitmaker died months after releasing one of his top albums called La Bonne Humeur (Good Mood). Featuring some of the rumba top vocalists like Canta Nyboma and Wuta Mayi, La Bonne Humeur has some of the best artistically arranged songs such as Aminata, Sydegy, Melancholique, Vincent Gomez, Brun Dika, among others.

Madilu’s husky – and hoarse – voice, the great composition of songs, sense of humour and satire, and timeless themes in his songs, with a touch of uncompromised creativity,  have cemented his place, permanently in the Rumba Hall of Fame. Madilu was a hitmaker, and I keep looking for any of the songs that weren’t more popular than him himself.

However, his fame shot the stars when he joined Franco’s T.P OK JAZZ in April 1980.

He was described as the band’s “brightest vocal talent” during its 1980s heyday. Franco is the one who nicknamed him Madilu System, a name that stuck.

After the death of Franco in 1989, Madilu joined Simaro’s Bana OK and later on embarked on solo projects. He worked with great musicians as Nyboma Mwandindo, Wuta Mayi, Caen Madoka, Rigo Star, Shiko Mawatu, Josky Kiambukuta, Simaro Lutumba Masiya, Ndombe Opetum, Malage Delugendo, Dindo Yongo, Papa Wemba, Bakolo Keta and Wuta Mayi, among other.

He has great albums on his name such as: Sans Commentaire, L’eau, Chifree, Bohneur, and Pouvoir among others. Madilu System was 37 years old when Franco died in 1989.

While with Franco’s T.P OK Jazz, Madilu engraved his name by participating in the following songs:

 1. Pesa Position – Madilu System with TP OK Jazz

This is Madilu’s signature into T.P OK Jazz School of rumba music. Pesa Position was released in 1984. The heavy and crude bass is the works of Mpudi Decca, the sweet and impactful rhythm is courtesy of Gege (pronounced as Jeje) Mangaya. The skilfully produced strings in the solo is by Gerry Dialungana, and the pricking mi-solo – almost creating its own melody is the wizard work of Franco Luambo Makiadi Otoyo.

The choir is commanded by Madilu System, with the formidable backup from Le Sherrif Ya Ntesa Daliesnt Nzitani and Le Commandant Josky Kiambukuta Londa. You should already know by now that Ntesa hits higher, Josky his middle, Madilu builds the foundation, and the trio produces an unadulterated raw talent that needs no training for perfection.

2. Boma Ngai, Na Boma Yo, To Bomana – Madilu & TP OK Jazz

This is another beautiful song released in 1986 that demonstrates Madilu’s musical creativity. It’s a Madilu’s, one of his two compositions with T.P OK Jazz, released in 1986. It follows a new series that Madilu incorporated in T.P OK Jazz. The style involves a danceable fast-moving melody, and frankly, Madilu shines in it. I mean think about the remixes to Mamou, Mario, Tala Merci Bapesaka Na Mbwa.

In Boma Ngai – as it’s commonly known, Madilu has the incredible vocals of the ‘young’ Malage De Lugendo, and the irreplaceable high-pitch vocals of Djo Mpoyi Kanyinda. This combination is a powerful force, and the delivery is a masterpiece. Without any iota of doubt, the two songs – Pesa Position and Boma Ngai – cemented Le Grand Ninja’s position as a good and an excellent vocalist in Franco’s powerful band.

And it’s the emotional touch that Madilu’s invested in this song that moves my spirits. And who else has that ability? Think of Malage in Testament ya Bowule and Djo Mpoyi in Hommage A Luambo.

Gerry is on the solo, and he’s complemented by Franco’s mi-solo, with Gege on the rhythm and Mpudi Decca is firmly on the bass.

And just when we thought the song had ended, Madilu comes back to deliver the last verse, after Malage and Mpoy, and then, the trio team-ups to give the last bridge. And who knows why they are mentioning Mangelepa in the very last?

3. Tu vois? (Mamou) – Franco, Madilu System & T.P OK Jazz

The bass in this song is very strong, and perhaps with the accompaniment of the rhythm, this song is a hit.

It’s Franco’s composition. He’s chanting as Madilu is doing the singing. It’s slow but sure. It’s a song themed on some of Franco’s society’s issues. I mean think about Layile, just to mention. It’s talking about two women accusing each other of infidelity and prostitution.  It was one of the very first songs, which prominently featured Madilu and announced him to the musical world.

4. Mario and La Response De Mario

The song La Réponse de Mario, released in 1987 was a sequel to the highly popular song Mario from 1985, also by Franco. Ojiambo Godfrey Mutumi observes: The original Mario was a song in which the young man Mario is accused of avoiding women his own age and going after older women who are richer. In the end, the older woman is fed up with the irresponsible Mario and tells him to leave her house. Ojiambo Godfrey Mutumi

 The original Mario was a song in which the young man Mario is accused of avoiding women his own age and going after older women who are richer. In the end, the older woman is fed up with the irresponsible Mario and tells him to leave her house. Ojiambo Godfrey Mutumi


La Réponse de Mario, the main subject Mario gives his side of the story saying that in fact, it is the older richer woman who has been chasing after him and lavishing him with gifts, forcing him to be her lover and interfering in his studies by always asking Mario to come to her house.

In both songs, Madilu outdoes himself. You can feel the passion and the strong feeling that he has attached to the song.

5. Makambo Ezali Bourreau

Franco wrote this song and played very little role vocally – actually lamenting – leaving Madilu to run freely in the verses and in the chorus. So popular is this song that Ferre Gola had to incorporate some chorus from it to his all-time classic Kamasutra.

Ezali Minene translates to the problem as huge. The backup is provided by Aime Kikwana and Franco. Madilu is shining and owns the verses – vocally. The huge bass is Decca’s, with Gege on the rhythm, and Gerry and Franco on the solos. Who can imagine this was in 1984? Chinua Achebe was right: only women and music cannot be dated.

Boya makambo ezali minene eh

Boya makambo ezali minene eh

Don’t accept to be kept waiting in vain because the issues/problems/troubles are big)

Franco, a beleli na América oh

… a beleli na Bruxelles

… a beleli na Paris

Balobi makambo ezali minene eh

They said the issues are serious)

Makambo ezali minene eh

Madilu sings so well here. He’s in charge and Franco loves it.

Continue to: Part 2/2: Notable Songs with Madilu System in T.P OK Jazz

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