Kaya died 9 years ago but his songs are still here

It’s nine years today since Kaya died. Was he killed? Did he die naturally? No one (?) knows. And I am not sure I want to know what happened on that day.


What I do know instead is that Kaya (born Joseph Réginald Topize) was one among the greatest composers, musicians and singers born in Mauritius.

His legacy is his songs. I bought his Best Of, Seggae Experience, a few years ago and I’ve been playing two songs repeatedly today: Chant l’Amour and Ras Kouyon.

This first sentence from Chant l’Amour has very special meaning to me:

“Mo rapel quand mo ti zenfan

Mo zenseignant ti fini so lé temps

Pou faire moi comprend tou seki embalao”

(Translation: I remember when I was a kid, my teacher spent all his time teaching us useless things [instead of important things].) I always have this sentence in mind when I teach… and that’s why I guess I am a decent teacher.

One day I read something somewhere:

“People in developed countries have tremendous respect for their artists…”

Sometimes this sounds like “people in underdeveloped countries do not have any respect for their own artists”. (Of course, if someone remotely talented comes from Europe or from India, then we’ll all pay hundreds of rupees to go and watch that real artist…)

Maybe we’re still underdeveloped here.

RIP, Kaya.


  1. Hello Avi,
    A tragedy for Mauritius that one of its brightest artists disappeared in such conditions. For once, we had a musical genius, mixing reggae with sega, with strong lyrics.

    Thanks for reminding this to us. It’s important that Kaya’s memory remains.

    Check out this documentary: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1alw3_zafair-kaya-1_music

    I was quite deeply moved by the last part of video 4.

  2. Indeed Kaya is one of the best artists, if not the best, that this country has produced. My personal favourite is “Le pep to racine pe brilé …”.
    And what better way to remember him than having his song “Leve do mo pep” as the tune for the “Koze do po pep” on Top FM :-)

    It’s sad that people used him for their own benefit ….
    But the worst part is that the name Kaya is sometimes used in a derogatory manner, I’m sure at some point we’ve heard statements like “Banne Kaya sa …. ” and this to me is the ultimate insult to the artist.

  3. This is the key characteristic of insular people: we tend to be afraid of those who are different from us.

    That’s why it’s important for young people to spend a few year abroad if possible. This is one great way to get a proper sense of perspective.

  4. Big Respect to one of the greatest Mauritian artist

    “bizin coZe la veriT zenes, tou fami ki ti la pas ti laie tenD, combien fine mort ti pe bizin la sagesse..”

    never met kaya but through his songs seems i knew him, his messages and his style of conveying them was too good.

    there’s also l’ampir universel that i like.


  5. Chouaïbe says:

    heard that next yr, for the 10th anniversary, there’ll be a mega concert till the early morning…
    anyway, he’s was a good artist, no doubt about that, but the question still remains unanswered!

  6. Akash says:

    Please correct your entry:

    “Of course, if someone remotely talented comes from Europe or from India, then we’ll all pay THOUSANDS of rupees…”

    Ave Dodoland!!

  7. Qwerty says:

    Kaya = bob marley’s song/album name

    Seggae? Whats that? Reggae in creole? Kaya used to sing reggae…

    And the reggae king is Bob Marley.. a legend!

    I love Kaya’s song “Chant lamour” very much btw.

  8. Ricci Nayna says:

    Seggae is a mix of Reggae & mauritiian music sega! So its Seggae!! Btw, for those who dnt know, Kaya autopsy in la reunion proved that he dies of injuries to the head!! Caused by the bullshit police of Mauritius!!

  9. Just A visitor says:

    Yo man. P zouer santer Ras Kouyon p aler meme zordi la.. Trop nissa sa santer la. Sagrin ki Kaya nepli en vie. Ti pu ena eneta plis bon santer ti pu vini sinon, c sur. Kikene ena paroles santer Ras Kouyon?

  10. Yashin .R. says:

    After all this time kaya still remain the king of seggae. So sad that its only when he died and after the riots that people knew his true value. Anyway, my fav song is “Sime la lumier”. 2 thumbs up for that great artist!!! (“,)!!!!

  11. madyik says:

    Hi. Just to correct, the real is R.I.P., not RIP. And sme1 said thousand of rupees, concert are still at 500rs in mauritius. And avi, the term underveloped is i think too degratory, use developing countries instead.

  12. Krishna says:

    Aha KAYA ine mort mais zamais so kamizik pa fine dan nou. line mort pou 1 koz ek 1 zour so bataille ek so lamort pou amene so fruit nou JAH pou legalise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Krishna says:

    Wai sory pa ‘kamizik’ sa c ‘lamizik’

  14. kaya is immoratal

  15. i’ve never heard better seggea than KAYA. He is the best!!!!

    there so much truth in his song ” leve do mo pep, prend conscience realiter ”

    of course my favorite piece OF KAYA

  16. a visitor says:

    kaya is imortal!!… his body must be somewhere under the earth and must have already decomposed….but the reality is that kaya is still alive in every district, every town, every village, every square, every street, every house and in all mauritians’ heart…. No one will ever forget him….his songs: “mo rapel kan mo ti zenfan…” will always be on the lips of students and also teachers….

  17. Avinash says:

    Hello to all,
    Pna oken site kt kpav download kaya so ban songs?? if u knw, plz let me knw

  18. I would advise you to buy his “Best of.” It’s a beautiful CD.

  19. Akash says:

    Avinash, a walk into the CD shops to purchase his CD’s would be the best way to honour an immortal artist like Mr Reginal Topize. His “best of” is a good buy.
    But downloading songs for free is just a means of perpetuating that “canned-food” notion of society: keep it for Britney Spears-type of “music”…

  20. I guess you’re referring to the other Avinash :-)

    Yeah. Don’t pirate Kaya. Buy the CD like I wrote above. You won’t regret it. As for Britney Spears, believe it or not, I like her too :-)

  21. king_galant says:

    “Mo rapel quand mo ti zenfan. Mo zenseignant ti fini so lé temps, Pou faire moi comprend tou seki embalao”

    (Translation: I remember when I was a kid, my teacher spent all his time teaching us useless things [instead of important things].) I always have this sentence in mind when I teach… and that’s why I guess I am a decent teacher.

    THIS IS A WRONG TRANSLATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Translation: I remember when I was a kid, my teacher used to spend all his time make me understand whatever I could not understand (i.e weird, difficult things).

  22. So, for you, weird, difficult things != useless.

  23. so bataille c pa juste jah mai pou respect culture rasta ek un minorites ethnique lor sa laterre moris ki ena un tas dimoune prend sa pou largent content …si ena pou dir ena un tad pou dir mai ecoute mo tizil li resume tou………….

    zenesse pa necessair ale lot peys pou developer mai chamge zot ti lesprit

  24. Aurelie says:

    Hi there, im actually looking for a song and i was told it was from Kaya, maybe you could help me. it goes like this;

    moi pou mo premier fois, foder guete moi manz ciggarette
    moi pou mo premier foi, roder guete labier ki (monter or rentre)
    oi pou mo gaigne touper, pou mo koser …

    if you can help me with maybe the title of the song?

    i think this is one of the most beautiful songs ever
    thank s

  25. Hi Aurélie,

    The song is by Les Vautours, not Kaya. Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HayEFnIVH5w

  26. maddouri_nidhal says:

    I am a big fan too, thanks for sharing


  27. i want to some on kaaya

  28. i love kaya and i am totally angry at the bullshit police and my uncle drove kaya 2a concert.

  29. Olivier says:

    I’d like to buy a Kaya CD, any one, but can’t find it anywhere online. If someone could help me, I’d be pretty thankful.

    The first thing that comes to my mind, is, who is the royalty payment going towards? Is it Kaya’s estate?

  30. Hi Olivier, I can buy The Best of Kaya for you here in Mauritius and send it to you by post if you want. Should I?

Speak Your Mind