Georges Kiamwangana Mateta (78) passed away on October 13, 2022, thirty-three years after the death of his mentor, Franco Luambo Maciadi, who created a commendable musical establishment in his shadow. While he has been in physical rehabilitation since last August, the victim of a heart attack, Verckys (a nickname given to him by one of his many conquests) is leaving an immeasurable musical legacy. The post-independence evolution of Congolese rumba owes a lot to his thought and determination. He instilled in it that important content that was lacking, especially from an entrepreneurial perspective. It is superior to what is called in this registry “The Man with the Iron Lung”. His contribution to the structure of Congolese music by establishing labels, recording studios and record companies is admirable.
Knowing that the distribution, distribution and marketing of Congolese music was already controlled by expatriates in the 1950s through Olympia, Ngoma, Opika, Loningisa and other publications, it was necessary to reverse the trend to ensure the emergence of a local music industry. . Verkys Kiamwangana, who followed Kallé Jeef, Franco Luambo Makiadi, Tabu Ley and others, invested in the music industry as a publisher, thus promoting the spin-off of several phonographic recording companies produced in the Congo. He will later launch his own label, Vévé. This was a major turning point in his life that would bring out his tire-dealer side.
After a badly negotiated exit from TP OK Jazz in 1968, former Conga Jazz member Paul “Dewayon” Ebengo, who used his closeness with Franco Luambo Makiadi to learn about music industry management, “zoned out”, reorganized and struck out on his own it was not difficult.
Extraordinary artistic talent
A talent scout, he has over the years worked with his Vévé team, including Trio Madjesi, Bella Bella, Empire Bakuba, Zaiko Langa Langa, Grands Maquisards, Lipua Lipua, Kiam, etc. In the 1980s, he contributed greatly to the formation of groups of the younger generation, such as Langa Langa Stars, Victoria Eleison and Anti-Choc. timeless songs like “Mbuta”, “Kamale”, ” Nakomitunaka » bears traces of his artistic genius, translated by his ability to use and mix talents without false note. Music collectives benefited from musical equipment in exchange for the transfer of their works.
Kiamwangana Mateta was also the first to set up a sixteen-track recording studio where several Congolese song leaders including Tabu Ley passed through. “Labyrinth », a 1980s religious song. A great arranger, he was to guide Koffi Olomide’s first steps in music through song. “The North Star », his first experience as a lead singer.
An accredited prompter who channeled his talents into the Kimbaquists, Kiamwangana Mateta was a standout saxophonist who, beyond his manager-publisher-producer-boss dimension, stood out in works like his agility. “Bolingo ya sham”, “Race for Power”, “Ngai Marie Nzoto ebeba” and many others. With his own band “Vévé”, which he created in June 1969, he stands out with successful hits, e.g. “Mfumbwa”, “Liwa na ngai bankoko bayoki”, “Fifi Solange”, “Bolingo Florence ” and so on.
Georges Kiamwangana Mateta, the charmer of all businesses and also a business leader and leader, is a perfect example of dedication. President of the Congolese Union of Musicians and the Congolese Society of Copyright and Neighboring Rights, he has always shown the tenacity of a true warrior, enabling him to build an entire empire.
From real estate to record publishing and marketing, orchestral production, tape dubbing, record burning, and more, the man was truly multidimensional. An example of courage and sacrifice, so to speak. No other Congolese artist has as impressive a track record of achievements as his. With his death, an entire part of Congolese music history is gone. Holy Verkis!!!