Grammy Award-winning Cameroonian World Music Artiste; Wes Madiko dies at 57
Wes Madiko passed on the night of June 25th following a medical operation for nosocomial infection, at a hospital in Paris.
He was a King of World Music who was born in Mouataba, miles away from Douala.
From 2 years old, his grandfather taught him about healing music & how to play the kalimba instrument.
His grandfather taught him his love of Bantu history & the wisdom of the elephant of animist Bantu philosophy.
In 1977, Madiko became the conductor of the group Kwa Kwassi, which means “think right”. This musical formation brought together the most talented youngsters in the village, who received instruction together in history & art.
In 1987, the Kwa Kwassi orchestra embarked on a tour in Bafoun.
A group of tourists turned up & were all bewitched by the music, including a young woman from Lille, France. That’s how Wes set off for Europe, with his kalimba under his arm.
He performed in several countries throughout Europe.
Aside from his musical activity, Wes started to develop involvement in social work.
He visited schools in Lille and worked with children.
In 1992 Wes travelled to the US & released the album “Sun of Ancestors”. In 1996 Wes signed with Sony Music France to release ‘Welenga.’ He won a Grammy Award.
He performed in Asia & Europe.
French TV channel TF1 called his song; ‘Alane’ the summer song of the year 1997.
His song, ‘In Youpendi’ was used as a soundtrack in The Lion King 2 Movie.
Wes was the first African artist with a recording going Diamond.
Wes received the Award for best record sale of the year by an African artist in May 1998.
In the same year, he performed ‘I love Football’ for the FIFA World Cup in France.
In 2002, Paramount Pictures invited Wes to perform in the movie ‘The Wild Thornberry’ & his song ‘Awa Awa’ was on the soundtrack.
The song was also included in the soundtracks for 2 German movies. ‘Alane’ was also used in 2 other German films.
In 2013, Wes Madiko became Africa’s Ambassador for Michael Jackson’s Family Foundation.
Before he passed, Wes was writing a spiritual book & working on an album.
May he RIP🕯️