Mamako Mamasa Maka Makossa”  You must have heard this Makossa chant from Rihanna’s one time hit track “Please Don’t Stop The Music”, also on one of the King Of Pop Michael Jackson’s songs “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”  That was the extent to which Makossa went far and wide. Not forgetting Shakira who sampled the Golden Sounds popular song “Zamina Mina (Zangalewa) as she also brought Makossa on the international stage during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. However, this famous chant was popularized by Manu Dibango throughout the world with his song “Soul Makossa”.

Makossa which means “(I) Dance” in the Duala language originated from a Duala Dance called Kossa. This precious genre of music in the yesteryear’s made waves in Cameroon with the existence of prominent aritiste such as Eboa Lotin, Misse Ngoh just to name a few. Although Makossa made waves in both the national and international scene, the urban music seems to be taking over. Legends such as Manu dibango, Richard Bona, Grace Decca, Ndedi Eyango, Ben Decca, Guy Lobe and Dina Bell. and also not forgetting Petit pays  who crowned himself the King of makossa are very popular and  have all participated in exporting the urban music lifestyle to the international scene.

About 20 years later what has suddenly happened ?  Will Cameroonians still celebrate and play Makossa music in 10-20 years from now?. You will agree with me that for a local DJ to play Makossa nowadays in an occasion or gathering in Cameroon, he needs to be scolded by some aged men and women. Many Cameroon music lovers believe that the urban music is taking over Makossa because most Camer artist and video directors are only about copying from international artistes such as the Nigerians and Americans and hardly even do covers for Makossa songs. Others say Makossa artists have abandoned their music and are at the verge of taking the likes of Shakira, Rihanna and even the late Michael Jackson to court for copyright infringements. What a “Showbiz Joke”. Moreso, the “Android Generation” are all about the “Cool Swaggish and Sexy artist” bright and shiny videos with girl in bikinis playing in the Jacuzzi. All these aspects don’t feature in Makossa videos.

This debate came into lamplight when Kamer rapper Nernos spit fire in the just released single “Mangosi” ft Ngoma and Kikoh. He said “ Le Makossa est mort et ca me plait”. This line brought chaos in the music industry as he was asked to make an open apology but he somehow refused and stood his point. The rap game is becoming more and more intriguing you know!

Well although Makossa is slowly fading for some, we have artistes and producers like Jovi LeMonstre who is trying to  brand and create his own sound. And artist such such as Reniss are benefiting with the Mboko Pop sound.  but for him there are other singers who are blending themselves in between to create something different from the usual movement. Recently we have had artists like Tenor introduce his own style making him Unique and a force to reckon with. Tenor has been able to blend Bikutsi in his rap and is not showing any signs of remorse as his fanbase keeps on increasing as days go by. Most artists have been able to create a new blend of pidgin, english and french and local street slangs to create a sound thats different but lovable by the cameroonian audience.

That Notwithstanding, with the MTV Awards, Afrimma, Afrima, Canal D’or and UrbanJamz awards winners and nominations year in year and out, it’s obvious urban music is the order of the day, and maybe it is safe to say Makossa is still loved by many, but might just be taking the backdoor anytime soon. Thanks for reading and kindly share your thoughts with us in the comment section about what you think  below.

Victor Kange