“I”m successfull in Tanzania because I write about serious subjects”

My music is known as “ubongo beat”, because in Swahili “ubongo” means brain, and my songs are full of meaning.

(This article was first published in 2002 prior to the passing away of Remmy Ongala in 2010.)

Sivi (curriculum vitae)

Ramadhani Mtoro Ongala (Remmy) was born in the Congo (Kivu region) in 1947. Because he was born with his feet first, two upper milk teeth and full of dark hair, the traditional healer told his mother that Remmy could become a traditional healer himself in his future life. That is also the reason why he adopted the title “doctor” when he became a musician. The traditional healer also wanted Ongala´s mother never to cut the hair of Remmy and she followed that admonition. Only one time after his mother´s dead he cut his hair. After that he didn´t feel ashame of his locks any more (“When records by Bob Marley came out, I saw that he had hair like mine. So after that I felt allright. I became proud of my locks”).

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