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Frank Makanuey pays tribute to David ‘Huembelo’ Rumagasen of Black Brothers

Rumagasen from the Black Brothers was a force in West Papuan and Melanesian music. Today we say farewell to a

BBAs the Black Brothers Original Band Manager Mr. Andy Ayamseba says of BB original Band Member, David Rumagasen, “Mr. Huembelo”….tonight we say goodbye Mr. Huembelo. Rest In Peace.

It is raining in Gahuna Gaudi tonight, and I have escaped into the dry comfort of the blue ten seater. I sit alone amid the rhythm of the rain on the landcruiser rooftop, and I cry silently for the passing of Kaka (big brother) David Rumagasen an original member of the the famous Black Brothers  band.

Rest In Peace, kaka David. You are a legend.

David Rumagasen, the Black Bros multitalented musician who could play the guitar and any wind instrument, but the many fans of BB will remember him for is his haunting rendition of the hit song Huembelo. His flawless voice as he holds those notes, and rapidly citing the words without missing a bit is a feat in itself, and in my humble views shares the same praise when musicians around the world talk about Whitney Houston and her singing.

No one can sing the Huembelo quite like David Rumagasen himself. He wrote it, in his local dialect, and he sang it, the way his tribal ancestors sang it. He was quite a remarkable singer. He did justice to Huembello.

I grieved tonight feeling the loss, and I grieve for the way the Black Brothers created my identity. Black Brothers gave me hope in my teenage years. They  gave me bragging rights. I grieve for my big brother David. The West Papuan Music industry has lost an icon.

I shed more tears when I see  David being consoled on his sick bed by yet another of the original Black Brothers band member and Keyboard player Yochie Pettipeluhu.…Sio sayang kaka David, sayang….

Rest In Peace, Mr. Huembelo!

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