Lapiro de Mbanga Granted Asylum In The USA
Cameroonian singer Lapiro de Mbanga was released from New Bell Prison in Douala on Friday 8 April 2011 after three years imprisonment under harsh conditions. He composed a song titled ‘Constipated Constitution’ where he criticized President Paul Biya of Cameroon. The song became an anthem for demonstrators in 2008. Lapiro de Mbanga was charged for inciting demonstrators to burn down a banana plantation. The Cameroonian authorities attributed blame for this event directly to Lapiro and in order to silence de Mbanga false charges were made against him. He has been granted Asylum in the USA and arrived there with his family yesterday.
The three year nightmare is over
Earlier this year The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a legal opinion announcing that the arrest of famous Cameroonian Lapiro de Mbanga, by the Cameroonian Government was completely subjective and an infringement of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Freemuse is an independent international organisation which advocates freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. After Lapiro de Mbanga’s appearance at the Supreme Court in Yaounde on 17 March 2011 he was interviewed by Freemuse’s correspondent in Cameroon, Jen Bell. When he was asked whether he would put an end to his musical career or continue he replied saying that he couldn’t live without singing.
Lapiro de Mbanga received his ‘Freedom To Create Award when Freemuse visited Cameroon on Music Freedom Day 2011. Freemuse Programme Officer Martin Buch Larsen observed the trial and was able to present the prize awarded to Lapiro already in November 2009 after a Freemuse nomination.
Lapiro de Mbanga has written a book entitled ‘Cabale Politico-Judiciaire Ou La Mort Programmée D’Un Combatant De La Liberté ‘ which translates to ‘Politico-Judicial Cabal Or The Planned Death Of A Freedom Fighter’, for which he is seeking a publisher. Click here for more information on this book.
Check out this video of Lapiro de Mbanga interviewed on 11 May 2011. This is his first video since he was released from prison in Douala on 8 April 2011 after three years imprisonment.
Check out this great video of 'Overdone' by Lapiro de Mbanga with upbeat guitar, catchy lyrics and an irresistable positive groove! ...
Win A Copy Of The Rough Guide To African Music For Children our online competition
New City Music, Chicago: 'a great showcase of the funky sounds currently made in Crescent City'.
The Guardian, UK, 3*** stars: 'A classy compilation'.
Guardian, UK 4****stars: 'A highly original, compelling set'.
Froots, UK: '... a superb album of an under-represented music ... and comes highly recommended'.