Guinean singer Mory Kante, part of 1980s African wave, dies

22 May 2020 - 15:35
By afp.com
Mory Kante
Image: AFP Mory Kante

Guinean singer Mory Kante, who helped introduce African music to a world audience in the 1980s, died on Friday in the capital Conakry, his son Balla Kante told AFP.

Kante is best known for his dance song "Yeke Yeke," which was a huge hit in Africa before becoming a No. 1 in several European countries in 1988.

Nicknamed the "electronic griot" -- a play on the name for traditional West African musicians and storytellers -- Kante died in hospital at the age of 70 after succumbing to untreated health problems.

"He suffered from chronic illnesses and often travelled to France for treatment, but that was no longer possible with the coronavirus," Balla Kante said.

"We saw his condition deteriorate rapidly, but I was still surprised because he'd been through much worse times before," he added.

Kante played guitar, the kora harp and balafon, in addition to being a singer.