DOUALA, 28 June 2021 – Fans of Cameroonian artist Wes Madiko, spent the weekend celebrating his life and great artistic work in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala.
The Grammy Award Winner died in Paris Friday night at the age of 57.
Family members who confirmed his passing did not say what illness he died from.
Some reports have suggested that he died from complications from a heart-related disease, without further detail.
“A legend has passed away, leaving u a final message of peace for humanity from his hospital bed that will be communicated to you in the days to come,” a statement from the family read in part.
In the heart of Akwa, the central business district of Douala, as well as in the bistros of neighboring Bonanjo, the city’s administrative district, fans played his music on loudspeakers, struggling to sing along.
The singer’s 1997 hit song, Alane, sold more than ten million copies and put Wes Madiko on the global music map.
It was the coronation of an impressive career that started at the age of ten, according to Wes himself, who says he started out playing the kalombo musical instrument given to him by his grandfather.
The Grammy Award Winner was a three-time winner of the World Music Awards.
He won the Diamond Record Award in France in 1997, the Diamond Record Award in Germany in 1998, along with many Gold Records, Platinum, Double Platinum, and Triple Platinum Awards in many European countries.
The only country where he, like Manu Dibango before him, never won any formal recognition for his amazing talent was his native Cameroon.
Wes, as he preferred to be called, is survived by his wife and five children.
I learned the news “with a heavy heart”, said Djily Smith, who served as one of Wes’s producers.
Wes Madiko was born on 15 January 1964 in Motaba, Douala.