From (1955-October 1994). Moreno (Batamba Wenda Morris), of the deep bass voice, was born in Kisangani, Haut-Zaire province, Congo, in 1955. He quit school in 1971 to join Orchestre Maquis Sasa Bata. He moved to Uganda & in 1974 joined Orchestra Bana Ngenge of singer Jojo Ikomo.
From 1978-80 Moreno was based in Dar-es-Salaam where he sang with Safari Sound before returning to Kenya. Back in Nairobi in 1980 he started Moja One where he teamed with tenor Coco Zigo Mike, guitarist Siama Matuzungidi and drummer Lava Machine (with other musicians from Shika Shika). Their biggest hits were “Pili Mswahili,” “Dunia ni duara,” (in 1981), & “Urembo si hoja.” For some time in 1983, Moreno briefly joined Samba Mapangala’s Orchestra Virunga in what was perhaps the group’s most star-studded line-up ever. The group which turned the now defunct Starlight Club into the hottest live-music nightspot in town, featured Coco Zigo, Fataki Lokassa, Dago Mayombe and later Moreno on vocals, along with Ottis and Samba Mapangala; Manitcho Nsilu, Sammy Mansita, Django Nkulu Mwilambwe, Bejos, Siama Matuzungidi and Beya Mikobi Dibuba on guitars, and others, some of whom were only briefly in the band. Siama recalls Lava Machine replaced Willy on drums and the trumpeter was named Kodila. The outfit later split three ways to create Vundumuna, Ibeba System and Virunga. But Moreno went solo. He mainly sang in Kiswahili and the themes of his songs varied from social commentaries like “Dunia ni Duara,” “Mapenzi ya Shinda” and “Mwanamke Hatosheki,” to love songs like “Angela” and “Pili Mswahili.” This last was a song about his girlfriend, Pili Mikendo Kassim, a Tanzanian model he met in 1976 while with Orchestra Les Noirs in Mombasa. His 1993 chart topper was “Vidonge Sitaki,” based on a Taraab song by Golden Star, but sadly he died the same year, aged only 38.
Featuring tracks, “Angela”, “Mapenzi ya Shida”, and “Wanitoa Mapenzi” from the Vidonge Sitaki (1993) cassette. Unfortunately, I don’t have the other tracks, but I’ll look for it. Cheers.