Popular Cameroon Afro-jazz musician, Manu Dibango, is dead. His family on Tuesday announced that he died from the coronavirus in France, where nearly 300 deaths and almost 10, 000 confirmed cases have been reported so far.
France, which is also among the worst-hit in Europe, just entered its second week of national lockdown aimed at containing the Covid-19 outbreak.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce you the loss of Manu Dibango, our Papy Groove, who passed away on 24th of March 2020, at 86 years old, further to covid 19,” his family said in a statement on Facebook.
Dibango, 86, until his death was known for his mastery of the saxophone and vibraphone. His home country Cameroon has 56 confirmed cases.
He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music.
Last week, his family announced that Dibango, named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2004, had contracted coronavirus but was “resting well and calmly recovering”.
Covid19, a strain of the coronavirus which first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, has killed more than 15, 000, leaving tens of thousands bedridden.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on March 13 declared the outbreak a pandemic.
There are more than 382,000 confirmed cases so far worldwide. Cases in Africa is nearing 2, 000.