Based in Nairobi, Les Mangalepa are sovereigns in their own musical kingdom 'Le Royaume Mangalepa' - which extends far beyond Kenya to encompass Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Zambia and DR Congo (ex-Zaïre).
The story of Les Mangalepa starts in the 1960s when, as members of Baba Gaston’s band in Lubumbashi, they led the migration of musicians out of Zaïre and into Eastern Africa, via Tanzania and on to Nairobi. Striking out on their own, they played their first gig as Les Mangalepa at the Park Inn, Nairobi, in July,1976.
The name was corrupted from the French ‘Marquez le Pas’ meaning
'marching time', in which they parodied the army style, laying
down an irresistible beat, which became the stylistic expression for
their ever-growing 'marching army' of fans. The songs in this
collection are taken from the period when Les Mangelepa were in their
full pomp. They conjure memories of a golden period of East African
music when the crowds flocked to Uhuru Park, Garden Square, Tents
Club and Park Inn. Those coming to the floor for the first time can
anticipate a sense of surprise at the joy and vitality of these