Franco, King of Rumba

CCTV News, Faces of Africa, November 2013

[29 min 55 s]

Role: Producer // Director

Camera: Edwin Thiongo // Editing: Gert Spierenburg

François Luambo Makiadi, or Franco, is one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s most famous musicians. Known in the DRC and across Africa for his mastery of rumba music and nicknamed the ‘sorcerer of the guitar,’ Franco, with his band, Tout Puissant OK Jazz, created an impressive repertoire of over one thousand songs.  However, he was also criticized for his controversial relationship to the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. Franco, King of Rumba explores the life and personality of Franco twenty-four years after his death. Featuring interviews with former musicians of TP OK Jazz and family members, as well as archival footage and photographs, the film documents Franco’s rise to fame during the political upheaval of the 1960s and his subsequent career of over 3 decades.