One of the long-standing Zairean exports to East Africa is Samba Mapangala.
He was the bandleader as well as lead vocalist in a group known as Les Kinois that came to East Africa from the Kivu region of the DRC ( Then Known as Zaire). They made their way to Kenya through Uganda, where they picked the name of their style ( Kabalagala) and eventually landed in Nairobi.
Their first hit song on arrival was Malako :
Followed by Baboka :
Another notable hit was Safari :
and Sunday :
Things became tough for recording artists during the eighties due to the decline of vinyl in favour of the Radio Cassete and piracy. Disco music also became more poular than live shows and so the the group fell on hard times.
In response, Samba formed another group while in Kenya known as Orchestre Virunga. This was made of some of the original members of the Les Kinois and other local Kenyan musicians. They focussed more on touring the international scene, playing in East Africa, Japan, and finally found their way to the USA.
Eventually Samba moved permanently to the States, where he is currently based.
Sample this hit called Ahmed Sabit from one of his last albums before his departure :
This was done in Kiswahili although it has seome Lingala in it.
This group clearly had some mean guitarists.
Of note was one Silu wa Bansilu Manichu and another called Bapius...