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Ousted Gabon president Ali Bongo was a teen music star: Facts about him

By Nyaboga Kiage September 1st, 2023 2 min read

Ali Bongo, who served as the President of Gabon since 2009, was ousted from office on August 27, 2023, shortly after his controversial re-election.

However, before his political career, Ali Bongo was known for his remarkable musical talent during his teenage years.

Born Alain Bernard Bongo on February 9, 1959, in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, Ali Bongo’s early life was marked by music and family legacy.

His mother, Ms Josephine Kama, who later changed her name to Ms Patience Dabany, gave birth to him at the young age of 18.

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Before starting his extensive political career, he left behind a musical legacy, including the album Brand New Man. This album featured a well-known soul\funk single titled I Wanna Stay With You.

The single captured the hearts of many with its melodious tunes and lyrics. The song’s popularity resonated with music enthusiasts, adding to Alain Bongo’s recognition in the music world.

Ali Bongo’s political journey was closely intertwined with his family’s legacy.

In 1989, his father, Albert-Bernard Bongo, appointed him Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 1991 to 1999, he served as a Deputy in the National Assembly before being appointed as the Minister of Defense, a position he held until 2009.

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A Swift Political Rise

Ali Bongo assumed the presidency in Gabon, a Central African nation, after succeeding his father, Albert-Bernard Bongo, who had held power for 42 years. His tenure as the head of state spanned 14 years, making him a prominent figure in Gabonese politics.

Following his ousting, 12 military officers announced the removal of Ali Bongo from the presidency.

They declared General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema as the unanimous choice to lead a transitional committee entrusted with guiding the country’s future.

Family Life

Ali Bongo is a family man with four children: one daughter and three sons. His marital history includes two marriages.

His first wife, Sylvia Valentin, a French national, was wed to him in 1989. Subsequently, he married Inge Lynn Collins Bongo, an American, in 2009, but their marriage ended in divorce in 2015.

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