Marie Misamu was a popular Congolese gospel singer, songwriter, and composer who died on January 16, 2016, at the age of 41. She was one of the most influential and beloved artists in the Christian music scene in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her death shocked and saddened her fans and fellow musicians, who paid tribute to her legacy and talent. But what was the cause of her death? And what was her life story?
The Rise of Marie Misamu
Marie Misamu, whose real name was Marie Misamu Ngolo, was born on November 16, 1974, in Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC. She came from a family of eight children and started singing at the age of 11. She developed her gospel style alongside evangelist Debaba, with whom she collaborated on several albums. She also worked with other gospel artists, such as Brother Del and Mike Kalambay.
She launched her solo career in 2003, with the album Béatitudes, est-ce que? However, it was her second album, Mystère du Voile, released in 2004, that catapulted her to fame and success. The album featured songs such as “Eh Yahweh”, “Reconnaissance”, and “Bilaka”, which showcased her powerful voice, her spiritual lyrics, and her musical versatility. She blended gospel with Congolese rumba, soukous, and other genres, creating a unique and appealing sound.
She went on to release several more albums, such as Nazhirea, Who’s that girl?, Révélation, Mystère du Voile Volume 2, and Mystère du Voile Volume 3. She also performed in concerts and festivals, both in the DRC and abroad, attracting large and enthusiastic crowds. She was widely respected and admired by her peers and fans, who praised her as a pioneer and a diva of gospel music in Africa.
The Death of Marie Misamu
On January 16, 2016, Marie Misamu died unexpectedly at a hospital in Kinshasa, after suffering a cardiac arrest. She had been admitted to the hospital earlier that day, following complaints of chest pain and difficulty breathing. According to some sources, she had a history of heart problems and had undergone surgery in 2014. However, the exact cause of her death remains unclear, as there was no official autopsy or medical report.
Her death sparked an outpouring of grief and condolences from her family, friends, colleagues, and fans. Thousands of people attended her funeral, which was held on February 1, 2016, at the Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa. She was buried in a specially made coffin, adorned with flowers and messages. Her grave, located in the Nécropole Entre Ciel et Terre cemetery, has become a pilgrimage site for many of her admirers.
Her death also sparked a debate on the difference between religious and secular music in the DRC, as some questioned the appropriateness of tributes by artists who did not practice Christian music. Marie Misamu was known for being open and friendly with everyone, regardless of their musical or religious affiliation. She collaborated and interacted with many secular artists, such as Felix Wazekwa, with whom she starred in a film. She also expressed her desire to retire from music and focus on her faith and family, shortly before her death.
The Legacy of Marie Misamu
Marie Misamu left behind a rich and diverse musical legacy, that continues to inspire and touch many people. She was one of the most successful and influential gospel artists in the DRC and Africa, with a loyal and devoted fan base. She was also a talented and versatile musician, who experimented with different styles and genres, creating a distinctive and original sound. She was a passionate and devout Christian, who used her music as a way of expressing her faith and spreading her message.
She also left behind a daughter, Ruth, who was born in 1994, when Marie Misamu was 19 years old. Ruth has followed in her mother’s footsteps and pursued a career in music. She has released several songs, such as “Mama”, “Mystère du Voile”, and “Reconnaissance”, in tribute to her mother. She has also performed at various events and concerts, honoring her mother’s memory and legacy.
Marie Misamu was a remarkable woman, who lived a short but impactful life. She died at the peak of her career, but her music lives on. She was the world’s gospel diva, but she was also a daughter, a mother, a sister, and a friend. She was a star, but she was also a human being. She was Marie Misamu, and she will never be forgotten.