EBOA LOTIN was born on the 06th August 1942 in DOUALA CAMEROON, of a religious pastor father, Adolphe LOTIN SAME (renovator of the Cameroon Baptist Church), author of more than 400 hymns (interpreted by Francis BEBEY in his beginnings) and a busy housewife mother. He hardly knew his parents as they died when he was barely four years old. An atrophy due to a quinine injection paralyzed his left leg at a very young age.
Like most artists, EBOA LOTIN experienced moments of discouragement and despair; he began singing at the age of eight and composed his first song, “Mulema Mam” (My Heart) in 1962 while he was 20. This song is the story of a young couple with no experience in which the husband had to grant full and unconditional freedom to his wife (divorce) because his wallet was not large enough to satisfy the disproportionate ambitions of his wife. He recorded in RADIO DOUALA studios, a work that enjoyed great success but brought very little material satisfaction. Cultivating his love for the gift he possesses by birth, he continues to work until very late at night and eventually meets success: Five other songs were composed, including the famous “Mbemb’a Mot’a Sawa” (1967), which earned him the 1st prize of the Vick’s Series contest (with Duke Ellington, president of the jury and Miriam Makeba as board member, among others) and the discovery of Paris. He used this trip to press his greatest success (published by Philips). “Matumba Matumba” (muñenge my Ngando) wins a pan-African and international success, and so does “Besombes”.
In July 1969, he represented Cameroon at the 1st Pan-African festival in Algiers. EBOA LOTIN does not decrypt partition,as he confies : “I do not know the difference between the treble clef and bass clef, flats, sharps, major and minor, I do not know what it ‘is. ” Alumni of the Principal School of Akwa, the man did not go further than the average 2nd year, class 6. He said to be an “regular illiterate”.
Self-taught, but talent insolent, his music has something mystical and one can speak without the slightest risk of being mistaken of spiritual legacy of complicity genetics.
One of the few artists to be invited in 1969 by:
– The Emperor Bokassa 1 CENTRALAFRICA.
– Marien Ngouabi, Congo, on the birth PCT
– Omar BONGO, GABON, at the 10th anniversary of the renovation (March 1970).
His best memories, are kept from KINSHASA (February 1970) but it’s late President El Hadj Amadou Ahidjo, CAMEROON, that he received the most support, both moral and material. Ask an Ivorian, a Beninese, a Congolese, a Gabonese or a Centralafrican, the answer is always the same: “decades later, this music has the same power, you do not need to understand what ‘he says, it penetrates you”. Emmanuel EBOA LOTIN is of realistic belief: On the dashboard of his car, at his bedside or on the table in his living room, one book: the Bible. He also said to ask only two things to God in prayer: “Winning the lawsuit against the stomach and make a report to the septic tank”.
Father of five beautiful angels, Lynda Henry, Jackie, Cathy and Samuel, he shared his life between his family, his faith, his music (about 70 songs) and his sculpture until his death on 06 October 1997 in Douala, CAMEROON. He leaves a widow, Jacqueline EBOA LOTIN, his five children, and an album unfinished.
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