ZANGALÉWA : FOREVER REMEMBERED

Zangalewa, previously known as “Golden Sounds” is a Cameroonian Makossa musical group formed in the 1980s. The group is known for their hit song “Zamina Mina” (Zangaléwa) which gained international popularity and became an anthem during the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
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Zangalewa, previously known as “Golden Sounds” is a Cameroonian Makossa musical group formed in the 1980s. The group is known for their hit song “Zamina Mina” (Zangaléwa) which gained international popularity and became an anthem during the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

The group was originally formed by three childhood friends, Doo Belley Eugene Victor, Jean Paul Zé Bella, and Emile Kojidie, who were all members of the Republican Guards of Cameroon’s Presidency. They combined traditional Cameroonian rhythms with modern influences to create their unique sound. They will dress in military clothes, stuffing their clothes with pillows to suggest big bellies and big butts.

Zangalewa”, was released in 1986, became a massive hit in Cameroon and across Africa. The song’s catchy chorus and energetic dance moves made it a favorite among audiences. It later gained global recognition when it was adopted by the Colombian football team as their official anthem during the 1990 World Cup.

The term Zangaléwa could also come from an Ewondo (a tribe in Cameroon) expression: Za anga Loé wa? which translates asWho called you?”.

Following the success of “Zangalewa”, the group released several more albums, including “Maladie difficile” and “Soul Makossa”.  They toured and performed across Africa, and other parts of the world.

In 2010, “Zangalewa” became world news again as Shakira used it for her anthem at the FIFA World Championship in South Africa. Plagiarism was immediately detected and the FIFA decided to credit the Golden Sounds (Zangalewa).

In recent years, Zangalewa has experienced a resurgence in popularity due to the song being featured in various films and commercials. The group has also been recognized for their contribution to African music and culture.

Despite some line-up changes over the years, Zangalewa will always be inscribed in the hearts and brains of fans. Their music continues to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.

Delia Nyadi

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