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Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi has died

The Konono No 1 bandleader’s death linked to diabetes

Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi, the bandleader for Konono No 1, died on 16 October. He was 56 years old. Their amplified likembe player, he had only recently taken over leadership from his father Mingiedi Mawangu, who died in 2015, aged 86 and who had been the sole remaining original member of the group that was founded circa 1966 in Kinshasa.

The band posted on Facebook: “Konono No 1's proud and brave leader Augustin Mawangu Mingiedi has passed away yesterday. He'd been ill for several months. We are devastated. But Konono No 1 are indestructible, and we've been continuing to work and perform.”

Released in 2004 by Belgium’s Crammed Discs label, Konono No 1’s debut album Congotronics was the first in a series of records produced by Belgian producer Vincent Kenis that showcased electrified traditional Congolese music

Kenis paid his respects in a statement sent to NPR: "On the footsteps of his father the great Mingiedi, founder of Konono No 1, likembe virtuoso Augustin Mawangu acted as a pionneer by enhancing the instrument's expressivity with electronic devices and new techniques, with stunning effects. His brilliant and bold playing, his stage presence, his humour and high spirits graced many projects.... It's a great honour for me to have worked with him."

The group have confirmed that the band will continue with Augustin's son Makonda taking over as lead likembe player. He'll be fronting the band with original singer Menga Waku.