Se Sengo 'Fan Fan' began his very successful career as a
guitarist in Kinshasa in the 1960s. He had learnt some chords
while at a catholic missionary school and then was self-taught.
He played in several different bands, including the famous Orchestre
Revolution and then became most well known for playing 2nd guitar
in O.K. Jazz with Franco from 1967-1974. The two of them had
a unique style of playing guitar together. After that Mose realised
that he could do well on his own and left Zaire and, together
with Youlou Mabalia,formed his own band, Somo Somo, spending
time in Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya and recorded the album
Belle Epoque that was later reproduced on the RetroAfric
label in 1986 (see CDs). In 1979 Fan Fan
was contracted to play in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and formed
a band called Matimila with Remmy Ongala. In Tanzania he was
also part of Orchestre Makassy.
Mose went to Britain in 1983 and has been
based there since then. To begin with there were very few African
musicians in Britain to accompany him but now there are quite
a number, as well as those based in Paris who can accompany
him. Mose frequently goes back to Congo in order to keep in
touch with musical developments there.
In 1993 Fan Fan went to Belgium to form
the group Bana O.K. This band consisted of a number of former
members of Franco's O.K. Jazz, including Papa
Noel. They recorded an album called Bakitani (see
Hello Hello CD (see
CDs) was released,
with some musicians
from the original Somo Somo featuring. The Congo Acoustic
CD came out in 1999 to great acclaim (see CDs).
In 2000, Mose played at The Barbican in March and a most memorable
gig with Papa Noel at WOMAD in July (see Photos).
He took 'A Night in Kinshasa' to various venues in Britain in
September, including The Spitz in London (see photo on this
page and others in Photos) and Fiddlers
in Bristol. He was on tour again in 2002.
2005 Fan Fan has a new CD, Bayekeleye with 7 wonderful
Listening to Fan Fan's CDs or playing
live, you know for sure that you are in touch with true, pure
Congolese rumba music and all its history. Several of his songs
have been selected for compilations. Some of his compositions
are instrumentals but on all the CDs mentioned in this profile
Fan Fan sings as well as playing guitar, his deep voice contrasting
well with the backing vocals of Déesse
on The Congo Acoustic.