Manu Dibango (1933-2020)

© UNESCO / Manu Dibango, UNESCO Artist for Peace

The famous Cameroonian jazz musician Manu Dibango was appointed UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2004, for his outstanding contribution to the development of arts, peace and dialogue among cultures throughout the world.

Manu Dibango believed deeply in the power of music to bring peoples and cultures together, because, as he said in a UNESCO Courier article in March 1991, music is “the most spontaneous, natural form of contact between one person and another”.

In May 2004 Manu Dibango participated in the inaugural concert of the International Day of Africa at UNESCO Headquarters. He supported the campaign for the promotion of a culture of peace in Africa. In January 2010, he participated with 50 other famous musicians and singers in a charity concert "Pour Haïti" in Paris. He also took part in the celebrations during the first International Jazz Day, held at the Organization's Headquarters in 2012. Two years later, Manu Dibango raised the flag of the French language by celebrating the International Day of La Francophonie – for support of the French language was a cause he cherished.

At the same time, guided by a constant spirit of justice, Manu Dibango never ceased to encourage creativity and defend the copyright of creators, thus placing himself at the heart of the missions of our Organization.

Manu Dibango passed away the 24 March 2020 at the age of 86.

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