Congolese Rumba Royalty Crowns Africa Oyé Final Wave  


The final wave of international music acts have been revealed for this year’s Africa Oyé Festival in Liverpool this summer.

Taking place on 22nd and 23rd June 2024, the country’s biggest celebration of African and Caribbean music and culture will take over Sefton Park for two packed days of live music, dance, workshops, DJ stages, food stalls, traders and more.

Completing the international line-up of acts on the main stage is Congolese rumba royalty, Nyboma; Haitian multilingual poet and MC, Vox Sambou; and Senegalese griot, Batch Gueye.

Nyboma Mwan’dido, known by his ​stage name Nyboma, stands as an ​illustrious figure in the realm of ​Congolese rumba music, with a ​career spanning over five decades.

Born in 1952, Nyboma’s journey to ​musical prominence began as a ​pivotal member of several ​acclaimed bands, including “Les ​Kamale”, where he showcased his ​exceptional tenor vocal talent and mastery across various musical styles.

His leading role in the establishment of the ​influential ensemble “Orchestre Lipua Lipua” ​further solidified his stature within the ​Congolese music scene. Nyboma’s contributions ​to the evolution of Congolese rumba are ​undeniable, with his commanding, irresistible, ​sweet voice and innovative compositions ​shaping the genre’s landscape.

Nyboma’s timeless influence transcends the ​traditional confines of the genre, as ​demonstrated by the prominent placement ​of his band, Kékélé’s wth the track ​”Conséquence,” at the top of Barack Obama’s ​2021 Summer song playlist.

Montreal-based Haitian rising star, MC, and multilingual performer Vox Sambou blends the spirits of Fela Kuti and Bob Marley in his multicultural sound.

Incorporating elements from Afrobeat, Brazilian candomblé, jazz, reggae, funk, and hip-hop, his fiery “Cosmo-Beats” resonate globally, captivating listeners and compelling them to move. With abundant energy, passion, and musical brilliance, the charismatic showman, Sambou, enthralls his audience.

In addition to his music career, Sambou dedicated 15 years to leading a youth community center in Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal. As a passionate advocate, he denounces injustices, advocates for greater solidarity, and honours Haiti’s rich heritage through his art.

Batch Gueye is a West-African Griot; a storyteller through his music and dance. Singing Baye Fall chants at ceremonies in his village is where Batch Gueye found his voice. His songs are about life experiences; travel, immigration, places he has lived and people he is grateful to. His music also talks about feelings such as love and jealousy, as well as life wisdom, teaching to be good to oneself, respecting others, and to listen, to trust and to have faith in life.

His life as an artist, originally began as a professional dancer. By the age of 12, Batch performed with dance company Group Assane Thiam and subsequently performed for many famous Senegalese artists including Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal, Cheikh Lo, and Coumba Gawlo.

Batch is the founder and CEO of Sabar Family, a company and movement which celebrates West African dance, music, art, and culture, in collaboration with some of the best Senegalese artists across the diaspora.

Already announced for the festival this summer, the creative force of Les Amazones d’Afrique will close proceedings on Saturday 22nd June, whilst Julian Marley, fresh from his Grammy win for Best Reggae Album, tops the bill on Sunday with his band, The Uprising. Def MaMa Def, The Zawose Queens, Fulu Miziki, Florence Adooni, and Super Duty Tough Work were also announced earlier this month.

Oyé’s Artistic Director, Paul Duhaney said: “Congolese rumba is a sound that’s synonymous with Africa Oyé and we’re delighted that such an important figure in the history of the genre is playing the festival this year in Nyboma. Vox Sambou is someone that’s been on our radar for a while so it’s great to finally bring him over to Liverpool, and Batch Gueye was one of the first performers to take part in Nyumbani – our YouTube series we filmed during the lockdowns – so being able to see him perform live will be a real treat for those who enjoyed his online dance workshop and showcase that he filmed for us back then.”

Beginning over three decades ago in 1992 as a series of shows in the city centre,  Africa Oyé Festival has evolved into one of Liverpool’s most beloved annual events, attracting artists and attendees from across the world.

The Oyé Active Zone on site will once again be hosted by Liverpool’s world dance charity Movema, and audiences can expect the usual array of multi-arts workshops across the whole weekend, for all ages and abilities. The increasingly-popular DJ stages Trenchtown and Freetown are also confirmed to return with a line-up of local selectors and MCs to be announced in May.

Oyé’s ethos of being ‘free and open to all’ also means that the popular Access Tent, on-stage British Sign Language translators and the Accessible Viewing Platform will all return for this year’s festival.