14 Oct 2021


One of the Congo's most loved and distinctive Rumba voices. Djo Mpoyi is best known for his work with OK Jazz but also recorded with the groups Saka Yonsa, Empompo Loway's Tiers Monde, Kara de Kinshasa and Verckys' Orchestre Veve.

'After Mangwana, the vocalist Mpoyi Kanida Joseph (1950-1993), known by his stage name Djo Mpoyi joined OK Jazz and continued with the same tradition of ballad singing. Possessing an exceptional vocal range and quality, Djo Mpoyi was also a sensitive interpreter. He will be remembered every time songs such as ‘Kadima’ and ‘Mbongo’ (both composed by Lutumba) are heard on the radio. In short, both Sam and Mpoyi remain in the memory of Congolese people for their exceptional voices and interpretative talent.'

Djo Mpoyi: 1954 - 1993

By Dolf Motz | AfricOriginal

The singer-performer Joseph Kanyinda Mpoyi, known by the stage name "Djo Mpoyi", remains forever in the memory of the many Congolese music lovers. Even the renditions of the songs of author / composer Lutumba Simara such as Mbongo, Mandola and Pablo are immortal to him. He has also left a number of unforgettable songs of his own, such as Katebe, Aziza mon amour, Kansebu and Azakaka occupé.

Born from a Burundian father and a Congolese mother, his singing career started at the age of 13 in Lubumbashi, Katanga. In the years that followed he was part of several bands, including Tao Tao, Lovy du Zaire and Orchester Kara de Kinshasha. His real breakthrough came at the end of the 1970s after being recruited as a singer in Franco's legendary TPOK Jazz in 1978. During this first period with TPOK Jazz, which lasted until 1982, in addition to the aforementioned Simaro composition Mandola (1981), he also performed Na bali misère (1980) written by Mayaula Mayoni and his own song Katebe (1981).

In addition to his triumphs as a singer of Franco’s TPOK Jazz, from 1981 under the name Le Canon du Zaīre, Joe made several successful projects with his colleague and friend Lukoki Diatho. During the period he was also regularly heard as a guest on albums by colleagues such as Mayaula Mayoni (Veya) and Lokassa Ya M’bongo (Chérie Samba).

In 1983, after the release of the album Azalaka occupé, Le canon du Zaīre is dissolved and Djo Mpoyi joins Tiers Monde Cooperation, which also includes his comrade Lukoki Diatho. Together they also collaborated in 1985 on a number of productions by the legendary saxophonist Verckys. In the following year, Djo Mpoyi rejoins Franco's TPOK Jazz, to which he remains affiliated until the death of the latter in 1989. In the period Djo can be heard as a solo singer on the songs Masikini and Celio.

After Franco's death, Lutumba Simaro becomes the band leader of the remains of TPOK Jazz. In 1990 Hommage a Luambo Makiado and 1991 Pablo Tumbajika grippingly portrayed Djo two compositions that Simaro wrote in memory of Franco. Although Djo Mpoyi can also be heard on the album Shako, released by Simaro in 1994, Pablo Tumbajika is the last recorded song on which Djo Mpoyi can be heard as a soloist. In 1993, Joseph Kanyinda Mpoyi dies unexpectedly and far too young at the age of 39.

Djo Mpoyi et Le Saka Yonsa de Mbole Tambwe – Chérie Kazadi

Label: Ngoyarto – NG 060
Format: CD, Compilation
Country: France
Released: 2011
Style: African, Rumba

1. Cherie Kazadi 10:02
     Composed By – Mbole Tambwe
2. Libala Ezanga Bolingo 1er 5:21
     Composed By – Feza Shamamba
3. Libala Ezanga Bolingo 2eme 5:27
     Composed By – Feza Shamamba
4. Azalaka Occupee 10:49
     Composed By – Djo Mpoyi
5. Bayemba Ngai Na Kebo 9:55
     Composed By – Feza Shamamba
6. Mere Bondo 1er & 2eme 8:38
     Composed By – Bumba Massa
7. Mayidoda 8:15
     Composed By – Mbole Tambwe
8. Kumba 5:36
     Composed By – Benadio Momba
9. Wami Babi 5:04
     Composed By – Lockas Keo