Originally from Kinshasa, Congo, Mermans left his home more than 20 years ago in search of a better life. Upon his arrival to South Africa from Congo in 1998, Mermans joined the Young Bakuba Band as a drummer and bass guitar player. After a year in the band, he found that his independence and musical style were being limited and so he branched out on his own as a solo artist in 1999. He was soon in high demand doing solo gigs at various Cape Town venues, however, he decided that he preferred a band set-up and assembled what is now a highly regarded multicultural band, Afro Fiesta.
Mermans met the Playing For Change team while performing with his band one night at Mama Africa in Cape Town and the rest is history. As a member of the Playing For Change Band since its inception, Mermans has performed more than 400 concerts in over 25 countries, including being one of the first to perform in Argentina’s DirectTV Arena, a tour in Brazil headlining for an audience of 35,000, and a tour in Australia as the opening act for Robert Plant. He can also be seen in many Playing For Change videos including “The Weight” along with Robbie Robertson and Ringo Starr, and “One Love” along with Manu Chao.
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