MEET TETE, THE WOMAN WHO MADE TABU LEY CRY TO HIS GRAVE | WHY SHE WAS THE CHOSEN ONE AMONG MANY WIVES.
Georgette Mowana known popularly as Tété, was the first wife of famous Congolese singer Tabu Ley. She married Tabu Ley in 1960. During the period when they met, Tabu Ley was working as a State official for National Education and assigned to the Kalina Athenaeum. It was there that he met Georgette Mowana (Tété).
Before his first marriage, Tabu Ley already had three children from two different women. The exact number of children he would eventually have is not known. But it has been estimated that he had about 100 children.
Georgette Mowana, was born in Katanga, but her parents came from Bandundu. With Tété, Tabu Ley had five children: Blackson-Matthieu, Mireille-Esther, Collette, Gisèle and Isabelle. Mireille and Collette studied at Utalii college in Nairobi, Kenya. Collette followed in her fathers footsteps as a stage performer. Mireille was the eldest daughter and was born in 1964. Tabu Ley sung a song about her called Mireille mwana.
Tété had a tumultuous relationship with Tabu Ley due to the latter’s infidelity and numerous relationships. She left and came back several times. Tabu Ley married other women while still married to Tété. Most notably Mundi and Mbilia Bel. He also had long term relationships with other women notably Jeanne Mokomo, who was Miss Zaire in 1969 and with whom he had 7 children. There were other relationships with women, some of whom Tabu Ley even sung songs about like Mwanke and Maze.
Despite all this, Tabu Ley remained dedicated to his first wife even composing several songs about her including: Adios Tété, Official Mission, Moto akokana Nzambe akosukisa, Tété nakozonga, Dernier Espoir ‘Itou’. Her name is cited in other hits including Mireille mwana and Leridi.
Georgette Mowana Kaly passed away in the 1990s. Though Tabu Ley had other wives and several other relationships, he seemed to have a special place in his heart for his first love. He often sung “Adios Tete” in his concerts and it is said that he sometimes burst into tears when the song was sung by other performers.