Manu Dibango’s astonishing recording legacy

Audio 28:35
Sound Kitchen Podcast
Sound Kitchen Podcast RFI

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about recordings by Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango. There’s a listener essay from Mahesh Jain about what makes him happy, listener news and letters, and a surprise “blast from the past” voice. All that, and “Ollia’s Happy Moment”, some great music, and of course, the new quiz question, too. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You’ll hear the winners' names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you’ve grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

Do you remember The Sound Kitchen Listeners Cookbook we published a couple of years ago, filled with your recipes? I had good news this week: our Communications Department has decided to re-print the original, and add some new recipes – from you, of course! So cooks, get your recipes to me, and quickly – we must “strike while the iron is hot”! Include a photograph of yourself, just in case we can include them this time around. Send your recipes to - don’t put it off!



It’s ePOP time!

RFI Planète Radio is sponsoring a video contest, and we want you to enter!

Planète Radio is an RFI department that gives voices to remote populations around the world. They are looking for 3-minute videos about climate change, the environment, pollution - told by the people it affects. Here’s what Planète Radio says about the competition:

“Environmental deterioration, climate change, pollution, everybody's talking about it. But amid articles, figures and expert reports, what do we really know about the feelings of the people already impacted? The video clips produced by the ePOP community in more than 50 countries allow us to hear from those who never ask for anything, yet have seen it all. Those who are already living with these changes that are deteriorating their quality of life.”

Your project should be intergenerational: get together with your grandfather, your aunt, someone older in your community and ask them how they feel about what is happening where they live, maybe in the place where they grew up. How do you feel about it? Tell us what you think, too.

For competition guidelines and more information about the different categories you can enter, click here    

You can also write to us at if you need more help.

We’re very proud that the winner in the ePOP 2020 RFI Club category went to an English language club – Adita Prithika’s RFI Agnichiragu Phoenix Club in Tami Nadu, India. Here’s Adita’s award-winning video.

She won a trip to Paris to attend an ePOP workshop (as soon as we have Covid-19 under control!) and five ePOP turning kits (tripod, lavalier microphone, USB key, report bag, t-shirt). 

Please note that you do not have to be a member of an RFI English Club to enter. Everyone is welcome!

The deadline for entries is 4 April, so time to get creative!



During the French lockdown to fight the Coronavirus last spring, we were constrained to stop broadcasting Paris Live, our afternoon news broadcast.

In the meanwhile, we are focusing on our digital presence, and making our website the best! You can read breaking news articles on our site, as well as in-depth analysis of current affairs, both in France and across the globe.

We are also developing new and exciting podcasts for you, and we are pleased to announce the birth of a brand-new podcast, Paris Perspective. Hosted and produced by veteran RFI English journalist David Coffey, Paris Perspective is a bi-weekly look, which, as David says:

" … features conversations with contemporary analysts, commentators, and icons about their personal relationship with France, the French, and how their lives have been influenced by Gallic culture. Paris Perspective includes one-on-one discussions, round table debates, and exclusive interviews with those who have a view of the world from France and about France."

Don't miss it!

We already have several very good podcasts which you can listen to right now: there is Africa CallingThe Sound Kitchen, and Spotlight on France. We have a bilingual series - an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis.  And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present at the RFI English service!  Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our excellent staff of journalists.



Send me your music requests! I’ll make programmes of your favourite music when I can’t be in the kitchen to cook up something new for you … write to me at

To listen to our features from your PC, go to our website and click on the three horizontal bars on the top right, choose Listen to RFI / Podcasts, and you’ve got ‘em! You can either listen directly or subscribe and receive them directly on your mobile phone.

To listen to our features from your mobile phone, the three horizontal bars are on the top left. Click and choose "Podcasts”.

Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is   If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ( from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ( when you write to them so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

And don't forget, there is a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. Only members of RFI English Clubs can belong to this group page, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, and you are a member of an independent, officially recognised RFI English Club, go to the Facebook link above and fill out the questionnaire!!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

There’s a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don’t like to do!

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club members! From Bangladesh, there’s Razia Hosen Iti - a member of the International Listeners Club in Sunamganj, and Jahangir Alam and Ajharul Islam Tamim, both from Kishoreganj. From Lagos, Nigeria, there’s a renewing member: Jimmy Johnson, who can’t find his old number. If that has happened to you, just write to me and I’ll send you a new one.

So glad you’re back Jimmy, and so glad you have joined us, Razia, Jahangir, and Ajharul!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write to me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

This week’s quiz: On 9 January, I asked you a question about the Cameroonian composer and saxophonist Manu Dibango, who died last year in Paris.

Our resident World Music specialist Alison Hird chooses the music for the end of Laura Angela Bagnetto’s podcast Africa Calling. For the 11th episode of Africa Calling, Alison chose Dibango’s best-known song, “Soul Makossa”. She spoke of Dibango’s long, distinguished career, which included many albums – and that was your question. You were to write in with the number of albums Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango recorded throughout his career. 

The answer is: 44. Dibango’s first recording was “Saxy-Party” in 1969, and his last was “Balade en Saxo”, in 2014.  

The winners are: Mr Manik Hossain, a member of the Shetu RFI Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh; Raihan Ali, a member of the Nilshagor RFI Fan Club in Nilphamari, also in Bangladesh; RFI Listeners Club members Abu Bakarr Turay from Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Ilyas Fachri from Pekanbaru, Indonesia. Last but not least, listener Miss Reepa Bain, a member of the Pariwer Bandhu Short Wave Listeners Club in Chhattisgarh, India.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: “To Sir, With Love” by Don Black and Mark London, sung by Lulu; “New Bell” by Manu Dibango, performed by Dibango and his ensemble; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “Acapulco” by LeRoy Holmes and Tito Puente, performed by the Tito Puente Orchestra; “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, and “Big Yellow Taxi” written and sung by Joni Mitchell.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 1 March to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 6 March podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club, click here


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