Angola National Band Stirs Hearts
03 July 2015
From their opening note at Boundless, the Angola National Band captured the hearts of delegates. At the International Music Festival, they received a standing ovation for their medley ‘Phezulu/Celebrate and Sing/Les Sons de la ligue du Foyer’, confirming the Army’s vast wealth of international talent.
In 1979, seven Salvationists returning from Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) to Angola came together, each with his instrument, to form the country’s first-ever band. The following year the group grew in quality and quantity as five more bandsmen joined. Currently, they are 36 bandsmen, 20 of whom are local officers in various corps. Most members also serve in Angola’s Presidential Band.
With the visit in 1982 by Colonel Willy Huguenin, Territorial Commander in the Congo (Brazzaville) Territory, the band participated in its first territorial event at the Methodist Church in Luanda, under the leadership of bandmaster Mpindi Zingangu. The band defied the odds of the civil war between 1986 and 2002, and in March 2008, when Angola became a command, the group was named the Angola National Band.
In its home country the band holds concerts, plays at interdenominational events and participates in government celebrations such as Independence Day. The band has had three bandmasters: Mpindi Zingagu (1982-1993), Emanuel Futuma (1994-2005) and the current leader Raimundo Nkuansambu.
The group has successfully toured Zimbabwe and plans to visit the Southern Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo territories.
‘We are privileged to be part of the Boundless congress,’ says Bandmaster Nkuansambu. ‘We have received words of encouragement from all over the Army world. I surrender all to God so that he gives us wisdom, and uses us as his instruments to bless his people and glorify his mighty name.’
Lieut-Colonel Friday Ayanam, Chief Secretary in the Nigeria Territory, admired their discipline and coordination, calling the band one of the ‘best in Africa.’ Brian Johnson, bandmaster at Southport Citadel in the UK, agreed: ‘They have brought energy, vibrancy and a different style of music with an African flavour to this congress.’
This article was included in issue four of Boundless Today. Click to read all issues of Boundless Today.