Kester Emeneya (1956-2014)
& Victoria Eleison

King Kester Emeneya has been an influential singer and bandleader of the 1980s. Emeneya made his first album with Papa Wemba's Viva la Musica in 1978. Few years later, he formed his own band, Victoria Eleison, with this band he recorded and performed for many years. Big hits from the 1980s were « Sans préavis » (1983), « Surmenage » (1984), and « Willo Mondo » (1985).

King Kester is known for his search for innovation, such as using disco and other western styles into his music, for example in the 1987 hit « Nzinzi ». Later on, he was insisting to maintain the high standards in rumba music, whereas the modern Congolese music was becoming more and more shallow.

Although the band changed their name in Victoria Eleïson Dream Team Dream Band (DTDB), integrating young musicians in the band, we can speak of a relatively high continuity compared to other Congolese bands. This does, of course, not mean that there have been no personnel changes within the band. Since the 1990s, both new material and reissues of older songs on CD have been put on the market, and, although Kester Emeneya has never reached the status of stardom as Koffi Olomide did, his role in Congolese music over the last decades has been very influential. Their 2002 album « Nouvel ordre » has been well received, and through concerts, among others in Paris venues Zénith and Olympia, they managed to attract considerable acclaim.

Kester Emeneya died in a Paris hospital in the early morning of 13 February 2014, after a period of weak health which is said to be caused by the shock when he heared about the death of Tabu Ley 30 November of last year.

King Kester Emeneya
King Kester Emeneya 

• Key members of Victoria Eleison:
King Kester Emeneya lead vocals, band leader
Safro Manzangi rhythm guitar, left VE in 1991
Santana Mongoley solo guitar, left VE in 1991
Temba Pinos bass, left VE in 1991
Cartouche Ramatula solo singer

• Musicians having joined Victoria Eleison (from the Viva la Musica camp):
Bipoli vocals
Debaba vocals
Petit Prince vocals
Joly Bakiemen Mubiala vocals
Huit Kilos guitar
Tofolo Tofla guitar
Patcho Star (Mpasi Samba) drums
Ekoko Mbonda percussion
• joining later:
Bongo Wende guitar
Otis Koyongonda drums
Itshari percussion

• Musicians (from outside Viva la Musica camp):
Makolin vocals
Mabusele Nsumbu vocals
Washifa vocals
Gerry vocals
Akwesa Kumbaro Sanda acc. guitar, left VE around 1996
Augui Lutula solo guitar
Djudjuchet drums
• joining later:
Malembe El Chanto solo singer
Thethee Monganga vocals
Fellyko Mbuji-Mayi bass
Danny Takeso (Kashito Kassiala) percussion
Maneno Molenga drums

Kester Emeneya: born 23 November 1956 in Kikwit (Bandundu region), as Jean Emeneya Mubiala Kwamambu, died 13 February 2014
Victoria Eleison: created 24 December 1982, by Kester Emeneya and Cartouche
Style: Congolese rumba, soukous

Title Year Label Remarks
Hommage 1956-2014 2014 Groupe Victoria CD-MP3 & DVD
Live à l'Olympia 2008 Dario Kindongo SWM104DVD-CD DVD/CD Dualdisc
The Best of King Kester: 1982-1987 2008 Glenn Music GM312030 Also Jimmy's Production (digital release)
Suka Molongo 2007 Bassoka 9158 Compilation with Kester Emeneya & Safro Manzangi
Le jour le plus long 2007 Kiki Production 2 CD & DVD
Nouvel ordre 2002 Lusafrica 36289-2
Tout en Live (Olympia/Zénith) 2002 Meganet 23090-2 2 CD
Naya 1982 2002 Ngoyarto NG079 CD reissue of 1982 recordings
Rendre à César... 2001 AFM Productions 2 CD
Papa Wemba/Emeneya-Viva la Musica
2000 Ngoyarto NG069 & Papa Wemba & Viva la Musica
Longue histoire Vol.2 2000 Calbass KING002CD
Longue histoire Vol.1 2000 Calbass KING001CD
Never Again plus jamais 1999 Calbass 91272-2/ B.H. Electronic
Manhattan/Sissi Ngwema 1998 Ngoyarto EPP23 With Bozi Boziana
Mboka Mboka 1998 B.H. Electronic 08895-2 2 CD
Ndako Ya Ndele 1997 Sonodisc CDS7007 CD reissue with Viva la Musica
Succès fou 1997 Melodie 08814-2
Deux temps 1996 Rog's CD 9601 Kwasa Kwasa, with one extra track
Kester Emeneya & Dindo Yogo:
Willo Mondo & La Congolaise
1994 Flash FDB 300239 Re-issue Willo Mondo & Dindo Yogo's album
Prix Nobel de la Paix 85. Also CD 70033-2
Réponse Polo Kina 1993 AMG 27 Also CD 70010-2
Live in Japan 199? PGS-21 (Japan) Also CD 70009-2
Pas de contact/ Stefi Tchoko 1995 Sonodisc CDS 8813
Live 199? MBC 001 Live studio album, songs from Everybody in different version
Les meilleurs succès vol.3 1993 Flash FDB 300102
Les meilleurs succès vol.2 1993 Flash FDB 300093 LPs Kimpiatu & Surmenage
Les meilleurs succès vol.1 1993 Flash FDB 300092
Everybody 1992 Sonodisc CDS 6809 Solo album Emeneya
Emeneya (Nzinzi) 1992 Kaluila KL 04 CD reissue, includes also Mokosa (EVVI 120)
La Elégance 1991 Production Grand Samurai PGS-2
Djo Kester Emeneya 1991 Flash Diffusion Business FDB 100063 Also on P.A.V. 999 (2008)
Mokosa 1990 Editions Vévé EVVI 120 LP
Manhattan 1987 Editions Vévé EVVI 70 LP
Emeneya (Nzinzi) 1987 Kaluila KL 04 LP, solo album Emeneya
Nzinzi - Version originale 1987 Black Music 46008-1 LP
dans Kwasa Kwasa 1987 Kaluila KL 02 LP
Presser Te 1986 Rythmes et Musiques REM 610 LP
Kimpiatu 1986 Editions Vévé EVVI 46 LP, also REM 600
Willo Mondo 1985 Feel sound FS001 Later reissued on Flash FDB 300239
Surmenage / Explosion 1984 Editions Vévé EVVI 41 LP, also REM 500
Sango Mabala Commission 1984 Editions Vévé EVVI 39 LP, also REM 370
Verckys Présente 1984 Editions Vévé EVVI 20 LP, also REM 270
Albums Cartouche & Victoria Eleison:
Orphée Sissi 1999 AMG 28 Le Prophète Cartouche Ramatoula
& Victoria Eleison
Everybody Talk'bout 19?? PGS-26 Le Prophète Cartouche
& Victoria Eleison All Stars
Double jeu 1986 Disques Esperance ESP 8423 LP, Cartouche & Victoria Eleison
Albums Fale-Fale Japanes & Victoria Eleison:
Mystique 1997 Déclic / Blue Silver 50627-2
Vol. 2 Mira Dora 1996 SD 009 395
Marceline-Ngufulu 1994 AMG Productions JF.SM 91860
Albums Malembe Chant & Victoria Eleison:
Opposition Radicale Ngomane 199? JIP 160
Chaque chose en son temps 19?? 0204 Cassette only
Albums Safro Manzangi:
Wiseman 2007 VLB Broadcasting & El'Man Music CD reissue & bonus DVD
Wiseman 1997 El'Man 001 CD Reissued as Ata Mpiaka (CBC CD 45)
Ambenzo 1986 Editions Vévé EVVI 52
Albums Jipe Swiss & Victoria Eleison:
Nana Afi Leo 19?? Tropical Club TCP 001

"London, Paris, Kin, Brazza - Everybody Talk'about! King Kester Emeneya & Victoria Eleison", by Martin Sinnock, in The Beat, published on [now obsolete link]
Thanks to members of the now defunct music forum for their help in compiling this discography
Page added August 2003