Music of Gabon

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A student from Belise Elementary School dances to music from members of the Africa Partnership Station band US Navy 080116-N-1429M-001 A student from Belise Elementary School dances to music from members of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) band.jpg
A student from Belise Elementary School dances to music from members of the Africa Partnership Station band

Gabon's music includes several folk styles and pop. Gabonese pop artist Patience Dabany, who now lives in the US, produces albums recorded in Los Angeles with a distinctively Gabonese element; they are popular throughout Francophone Africa. Other musicians include guitarists Georges Oyendze, La Rose Mbadou and Sylvain Avara, and the singer Oliver N'Goma. Imported rock and hip hop from the US and UK are popular in Gabon, as are rumba, makossa and soukous.

Gabon country in Africa

Gabon, officially the Gabonese Republic, is a country on the west coast of Central Africa. Located on the equator, Gabon is bordered by Equatorial Guinea to the northwest, Cameroon to the north, the Republic of the Congo on the east and south, and the Gulf of Guinea to the west. It has an area of nearly 270,000 square kilometres (100,000 sq mi) and its population is estimated at 2 million people. Its capital and largest city is Libreville.

Patience Marie Josephine Kama Dabany, also known by the names Marie Joséphine Kama and Josephine Bongo, is a Gabonese singer and musician. Dabany served as the First Lady of Gabon from 1967 to 1987. For nearly 30 years she was married to Omar Bongo Ondimba, who was President of Gabon from 1967 to 2009. After their divorce, she successfully pursued a career in music. She is the mother of the current President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba.

Oliver N'Goma was a Gabonese afro-zouk and soukous singer and guitarist. Nicknamed "Noli," he was born in Mayumba in south-west Gabon in 1959. He is best known for his 1989 song Bane, which was popularized by Radio Africa N.1 and Gilles Obringer.


National music

The national anthem of Gabon is "La Concorde", written and composed by Georges Aleka Damas and adopted in 1960 upon independence.

La Concorde national anthem

"La Concorde" is the national anthem of Gabon. Written and composed by Georges Aleka Damas, it was adopted upon independence in 1960.

Traditional music

Gabon's population, estimated at 1,640,286, of whom 42% are minors (July 2013 est.), include four major Bantu groupings; the Fang, the Punu, the Nzebi and the Obamba. [1]

Fang people ethnic group

The Fang people, also known as Fãn or Pahouin, are a Central African ethnic group found in Equatorial Guinea, northern Gabon, and southern Cameroon. Representing about 85% of the total population of Equatorial Guinea, concentrated in the Rio Muni region, the Fang people are its largest ethnic group. In other countries, in the regions they live, they are one of the most significant and influential ethnic groups.

The Punu, or Bapunu (Bapounou), are a Bantu group of Central Africa and one of the four major peoples of Gabon, inhabiting interior mountain and grassland areas in the southwest of the country, around the upper N'Gounié and Nyanga Rivers. Bapunu also live in the Divenie, Kibangou, and Mossendjo districts of the Republic of the Congo. They are linguistically related to the Eshira.

The Obamba are an ethnic group located largely in Gabon's Haut-Ogooué Province. The Obamba people's traditional language is Mbama, which is often also referred to as Obamba.

Gabon, to the French ethnographer Barabe, "is to Africa what Tibet is to Asia, the spiritual center of religious initiations", [2] due to the sacred music of the Bwiti, the dominant religious doctrine of the country, variously ascribed to the Fang and the Mitsogho, which involves the use of iboga. [3]

Bwiti is a spiritual discipline of the forest-dwelling Babongo and Mitsogo peoples of Gabon and by the Fang people of Gabon and Cameroon. Modern Bwiti incorporates animism, ancestor worship, and Christianity into a syncretistic belief system.

Gabonese folk instruments include the obala.

The history of modern Gabonese music did not begin until about 1974, when the blind guitarist and singer Pierre Akendengué released his first album. He was classically trained in Europe, and his compositions reflect the influence of Western classical music. Akendengue's European career started after being treated for eye disease at a hospital in Paris. He stayed, and studied at the Petit Conservatoire. By the 1970s, he was at the forefront of a wave of popular Francophone African music stars, beginning with the release of Nandipo in 1974. Akendegue was supported by Pierre Barouh, a powerful man in the French music industry, responsible for launching the careers of Brigitte Fontaine and Jacques Higelin, among others. Akendegue came to be seen as a spokesperson for the Gabonese people, and for the poor and dispossessed of all Africa . After spending twenty years in France, Akendegue returned to Gabon despite concerns over government censorship of his music. He wound up being appointed a government advisor.

Pierre Akendengué Gabonese musician

Pierre-Claver Akendengué is a musician and composer from Gabon. In 1997, he received his country's "Prix d'excellence" at the Africa Music awards in Libreville, honoring his body of work. He also serves as a cultural advisor for the government of Gabon.

This is a partial list of publishes a classification of known diseases and injuries, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD-10. This list uses that classification.

Pierre Barouh French writer-composer-singer

Pierre Barouh was a French writer-composer-singer best known for his work on Claude Lelouch's film A Man and a Woman both as actor, and as lyric writer/singer for Francis Lai's music for the film.

The 1980s saw the formation of Africa No. 1, a radio station devoted to African music, and the opening of the first Gabonese recording studio, Studio Mademba. Musicians from across Africa and even in the Caribbean travelled to Libreville to record.

Libreville Place in Estuaire Province, Gabon

Libreville is the capital and largest city of Gabon, in western central Africa. The city is a port on the Komo River, near the Gulf of Guinea, and a trade center for a timber region. As of 2013, its census population was 703,904. The area was originally inhabited by the Mpongwé tribe before the French acquired the land in 1839. In 1846, a Brazilian slave ship was captured by the French navy assisting the British Blockade of Africa, and fifty-two of the freed slaves were resettled on the site. It became the chief port of French Equatorial Africa from 1934 to 1946, and was the central focus of the Battle of Gabon in 1940. Libreville was named in imitation of Freetown, and grew slowly as a trading post and a minor administrative centre, reaching a population of 32,000 on independence in 1960. Since independence, the city has grown rapidly and now houses nearly half the national population. It is home to a shipbuilding industry, brewing industry, and sawmills, and exports raw materials such as wood, rubber and cocoa.

Though Libreville was producing enough pan-African hits in the 80s to rival cities like Abidjan and Johannesburg for popular music, the end of the decade saw the music scene die out.

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Telecommunications in Gabon include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Despite Gabon's small population, this West African country is home to many different Bantu tribes and a small pygmy population.

<i>Tabernanthe iboga</i> species of plant

Tabernanthe iboga or simply iboga is a perennial rainforest shrub and psychedelic, native to western Central Africa. Iboga stimulates the central nervous system when taken in small doses and induces hallucinations in larger doses. In parts of Africa where the plant grows, the bark of the root is chewed for various pharmacological or ritualistic purposes. Ibogaine, the active alkaloid, is also used to treat substance abuse disorders and depression. A small amount of ibogaine, along with precursors of ibogaine, are found in Voacanga africana.

Léon Mba 1st President of Gabon

Gabriel Léon M'ba was the first Prime Minister (1959–1961) and President (1961–1967) of Gabon. A member of the Fang ethnic group, M'ba was born into a relatively privileged village family. After studying at a seminary, he held a number of small jobs before entering the colonial administration as a customs agent. His political activism in favor of black people worried the French administration, and as a punishment for his activities, he was issued a prison sentence after committing a minor crime that normally would have resulted in a small fine. In 1924, the administration gave M'ba a second chance and selected him to head the canton in Estuaire Province. After being accused of complicity in the murder of a woman near Libreville, he was sentenced in 1931 to three years in prison and 10 years in exile. While in exile in Oubangui-Chari, he published works documenting the tribal customary law of the Fang people. He was employed by local administrators, and received praise from his superiors for his work. He remained a persona non grata to Gabon until the French colonial administration finally allowed M'ba to return his native country in 1946.

Paul Mba Abessole is a Gabonese politician who heads the National Woodcutters' Rally – Rally for Gabon and was a leading opponent of President Omar Bongo during the 1990s. He stood as a presidential candidate twice during the 1990s and also served as Mayor of Libreville, the capital. From 2002 to 2009 he served in the government of Gabon, holding the rank of Deputy Prime Minister for most of that period.

Articles related to Gabon include:

Languages of Gabon languages of a geographic region

There is no official language in Gabon, however 32% of the people speak Fang as a mother tongue. French is the medium of instruction. Before World War II very few Gabonese learned French, nearly all of them working in either business or government administration. After the war, France worked for universal primary education in Gabon, and by the 1960-61 census, 47% of the Gabonese over the age of 14 spoke some French, while 13% were literate in the language. By the 1990s, the literacy rate had risen to about 60%.

Paulin Obame-Nguema is a Gabonese politician who was the Prime Minister of Gabon from 2 November 1994 to 23 January 1999. He is currently a Deputy in the National Assembly of Gabon.

Léon Mébiame was a Gabonese politician who was the 2nd Prime Minister of Gabon. From 1975 to 1990, he served as the longest-serving Prime Minister in Gabonese history, at 15 years and 17 days.

Gabon–United States relations Diplomatic relations between the Gabonese Republic and the United States of America

Gabon – United States relations are bilateral relations between Gabon and the United States.

Religion in Gabon

Major religions practised in Gabon include Christianity, Islam, and traditional indigenous religious beliefs. Many people practice elements of both Christianity and traditional indigenous religious beliefs. Approximately 88 percent of the population practice one of the denominations of Christianity; 6 percent practice Islam ; reminder practice traditional religion or other religions.

Dimitri "Mobengo" Mugianis is a drug policy activist, Bwiti N'ganga, poet, and musician.


The mvet is a stringed musical instrument, the harp-lute of the Fang people of Gabon, Cameroon, São Tomé and Equatorial Guinea. Somewhat resembling the Mande kora, but larger and simpler, it consists of a tubular stick of palm-raffia or bamboo, between one and two metres long, with usually three calabash resonators. A central vertical bridge divides four or five gut or metal strings, played both sides of the bridge.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Libreville, Gabon.