General Defao’s 18 Year Stay In Kenya Ruined His Music Career

KEY POINTS

  • General Defao only returned to his native DR Congo in August 2019 after 18 years of a self-imposed exile in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Defao, whose real name is Francois Lulendo Matumona, fled his home in Kinshasa in 2002, the year former President Joseph Kabila came to power.
  • But according to some Congolese observers, General Defao was very opposed to former president Joseph Kabila, he fled because he feared for his life.

General Defao only returned to his native DR Congo in August 2019 after 18 years of a self-imposed exile in Nairobi, Kenya.

Defao, whose real name is Francois Lulendo Matumona, fled his home in Kinshasa in 2002, the year former President Joseph Kabila came to power.

But according to some Congolese observers, General Defao was very opposed to former president Joseph Kabila, he fled because he feared for his life.

Defao returned home on 4th August 2019 following the change of government in DR Congo, with the new President Felix Tshisekedi warming up to him.

While announcing his return to Congo, Defao said he was making the journey back at the invitation of President Tshisekedi.

Defao’s music career was just a shell of his past heydays during his 18 year stay in Kenya. He performed at bars across the country in gigs that didn’t befit a musician of his stature.

One of his last major shows in Kenya was held in July 2019 at the Mutengene Resort Club in Webuye, Bungoma County.

On his arrival in Kinshasa after 18 year exile in Kenya, Defao was received by top fellow artistes, including former Empire Bakuba Band guitarist Lofombo Gode and his former Big Stars Band vocalist Montana Kamenga.

Upon returning to the DRC, General Defao attempted to relaunch his musical career and had been performing across the region.

Defao’s music career received a new lease of life after returning to DRC, however it was short-lived as Coronavirus pandemic struck in December 2020.

The legendary Congolese singer succumbed to Covid-19 complications at the Lawuintinie Hospital in Douala, Cameroon on December 27th 2021 – on the eve of his 63rd birthday.

His death comes a few days before he was expected to entertain rhumba fans in Douala, Cameroon.

Known for his swagger dances and high pitched, Defao is said to have felt during his rehearsals and was rushed to hospital.

Related: Kenyans Mourn The Death Of Congolese Rhumba Artist General Defao

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