Look Beyond Appearances".That is the literal meaning of the name 'staff Banda Balili' and this is their message. Staff Banda Balili is one of those stories that are almost hard to believe. The pr jackpot, but their story is true, and to those who have not heard their music, might seem sad.
All the white people who go to these restaurants, they would give out cash when they've eaten and drunk well," Coco adds. "We were there outside these restaurants to get some money from these happy people.
SBB come from the slums of Congo, you know what, not even the slums, the lower part of the slums, homeless inside the slums, and being homeless in a slum, that's like adding insult to injury. They all have another thing in common. They are all victims of the polio disease, paralyzed, distorted, handicapped, and so very very happy to be alive and to sing to us about it.
Even before starting the band, we knew this might happen - we had faith in our abilities."
It is a story of hope, it is a story of struggle and persistence, it is a story of disabled poor Africans making it big time and living to tell about it. Everything you could ask for if you are a television anchorman. I feel slightly pompous just writing about it.
When we roll around on our wheelchairs they greet us and say: 'Oh you are a star, you are a star, everybody is happy for us."
But it is all true, and the music they play? Blessed be the lord, for it is good. Real good. An eclectic array of something between rumba to reggae, and I swear there is a bit soul train in there somewhere.
The guitar solos are played on a tin can and a wire. The bass has seen better days before I was born, and the singers are riding around in contraptions that look like what steam-punk looks like in the real world. And it's all good.
We also want to help other disabled people and create a social care centre for them”
Like a big circus of improvised men machines, they give us one thing important, a good time, and good vibes. Vibes of optimism, or hope, of a world where music makes everything better. It really does.
We want to encourage them (the local people) to do music and earn their own living,"
Especially their kind of music. their kind of message. if Bono is thinking he is making a change by giving his speeches about world hunger and other trendy things the fat rockstars talk of in their private jets and huge mansions, SBB is talking from their experience, it is their life they are singing about, and the fact their music will always be ten thousand times better then Bono's is just adding insult to injury.
They are the real deal. without their message they are great musicians, with their message they are part of global change that comes from within, that comes from below, that is here and we should listen to them. if not for the message, then for the great music that will uploft our spirits and make our life better.
I was born a strong man
But polio crippled me.
Look at me today
I'm screwed onto my tricycle.
I have become the man
With the canes.
The hell with those crutches!
Parents please go to the vaccination centers.
Get your babies vaccinated against polio,
Please save them from that curse.
My parents had the good idea
To register me at school
Look at me now
I'm a well-educated person
Which enables me to work
And support my family.
Parents please don’t neglect your children
The one who is disabled
Is no different from the others.
Treat all your children
Who among them will help you
When you're in need?
God only knows who.