EMMANUEL EBOA LOTIN, 20 years already! Artists never die.
Poet, lesson giver, romantic , prophetic, provocative. Eboa Lotin will cry, he will laugh, he will insult in his songs just to express his mind and change societal ills. Outspoken he was. Minds like these are once in a lifetime guys.
Born on the 6th of August 1942 in Akwa-Douala from a father who was a pastor in the Cameroon Baptist church, and a mother that was a housewife. Adolf Lotin Nsame, his father wrote more than 400 religious songs. Little Eboa will not have a soft childhood like his peers as he was born while his father was jailed by the German colonial masters. Not very long from then the young boy will become an orphan of both parents at about the age 4, but his misfortunes have not ended as his left leg will be paralyzed by a powerful quinine injection while he was still very tender. Went to school at Ecole Pricipal d’Akwa, but will not go further than the primary education. Emanual Eboa Lotin did not need formal education to be wise like he was through out his life on earth,
As blood flows though the vain, Eboa Lotin followed his father’s footsteps and started singing at the age of 8. “My elder brother Kum had a guitar. I will always steal it when he is not around and scratch some few musical sounds from it”. As he always says, “I don’t know what the differences musical notes: do, la, sol, and fa mean”. He did not know what the musical notes meant, but he plaid the guitar very with amazing dexterity. His first song titled; “Moulema Mawma (my heart)” was published in 1962, while he was just 20 . This song told the story of an inexperienced couple, where the man had to let go of his wife because he was not rich and could not stand the over ambitious woman. This master piece that young Lotin recorded in the studios of Radio Douala had an enormous success. Though the young artist did not make much money, he was known at least.
Then came a dessert crossing period for the young Eboa Lotin, but he kept the candle of hope burning, and worked tirelessly cultivating his talent. Soon came five other songs in 1967 among which was the famous “Mbemb’a Mota Sawa” that fetch him the first price in the VICKY VEDETTE competition with Duke Ellington and Myriam Makeba as Chief and member of the jury respectively. This price took him to Paris where he recorded in the Philips recording studio his big hits among which was Matoumba Matoumba and Bessombe which became major successes in Africa and internationally.
Eboa Lotin sang love, he sang societal issues and threw an eye into what the future could look like. Due to his unique compositions of melodies, the Akwa native was unanimously loved in Cameroon, even till date by the young and old. His songs so stood out that African heads of states started liking them and inviting him for life shows in their ceremonies. It was Amadou Ahidjo of Cameroon, then Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa of the Central African Republic, and Omar Bongo of Gabon. Almost all the heads of states of the central African sub regions where his friends, and he visited them without protocol. Amadou Ahidjo offered him his first car, Bokassa was like his father, while popular stories had it that Moboutu Sese Seko of Zaire offered him the legendary leopard skin hat and in return he offered the president the walking stick that he personally carved as a sign of their friendship, since he was also a wood artist. Eboa Lotin died at age 55 on the 6th of October 1997 at the Lakintini hospital in Douala, leaving behind 70 songs that have remained ever green and have made him a monument in the African musical scene.