Artist Profiles: Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo

Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo was considered by some the master of the lokembe (also spelled lukembe), known as kalimba or thumb piano in the West). The lokembe is an instrument from Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo’s homeland, Uganda.

King Achilla’s music combined elements of South Africa’s township jive, Congolese soukous, West African pop, and the distinctive sound of Uganda. Achilla was based in Canada and usually accompanied by some of the best musicians in Toronto, who over the years were members of Baana Afrique.

Achilla remained true to his roots, perfecting the fine art of tuning and playing the lokembe to sound like a string instrument. His plucking of the lokembe was unique and sets him apart from other musicians that play the instrument, hence, earning him the title, King Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo.

Achilla Orru Apaa-Idomo passed away on February 4, 2013 at the age of 53.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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