Cameroon, 1978: it’s like any good western movie. A man drifts through the plains at the furthest edge of the country in search of two former gunslingers, hoping to coax them out of retirement for one last showdown. Except this time, the weapons are guitars and the gunslingers are Jean Gabari and Messi Martin – the calm sheriff and his hot-headed deputy – who had led the band Los Camaroes to superstardom at the beginning of the decade.
Los Camaroes emerged at the end of the 1960s from the town of Maroua in the northern, predominantly Islamic area of Cameroon. After changes in name, in lineup and in management, they worked their way south to the capital to make a name for themselves; in the span of only a few years they changed Cameroon’s music scene forever, leaving a trail of sold-out nightclubs and monster radio hits in their wake. Then, at the height of their popularity, they broke up.