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Serge Lebrasse:

Ambassador of Mauritian culture 

And King of Sega

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Born on June 25th, 1930, in Rose Hill, Mauritius, Joseph Emmanuel Serge Lebrasse has left an indelible mark on the music scene, offering solace and joy to countless individuals. His journey began amidst adversity, having lost his father at the tender age of nine, which necessitated his early entry into the workforce.


Undeterred by challenges, Serge embarked on a diverse career path, starting as a laborer at the Government Sack Factory before fate led him to the Forest Department to study forestry. Despite financial constraints, his resilience and determination propelled him forward, eventually leading him to serve in the Royal Corps of Signals of the British Army in Egypt.

Returning to Mauritius in 1951, Serge's journey took him through various roles, from coalman in the Railway Department to temporary nurse in the Health Department. However, it was his passion for music that remained a constant throughout his life.


In 1957, Serge Lebrasse married his beloved wife, Gisele, embarking on a journey of love and companionship. Together, they raised a beautiful family, blessed with four children: Sego, Sonia, Toto, and Sheila. As Serge pursued his passion for music and cultural enrichment, Gisele stood by his side, providing unwavering support and encouragement. Their enduring partnership not only enriched their own lives but also served as a source of inspiration for many. It was during this significant year that Serge Lebrasse not only began his married life but also penned his first song, marking the commencement of his illustrious musical career.

On the very day of the birth of his elder daughter in January 1959, Serge made his debut recording, "Madame Eugene." From then until 2016, he wrote about a hundred songs and recorded seventy-six of them. Notable accolades include being elected "Best Singer" and "Best Entertainer" in a Popularity Poll organized by the "Sunday Express" weekly paper in 1966.


His compositions, such as "Allez baba" and "Sega le 1er Janvier," have garnered recognition, with the former being recorded by the renowned French singer Isabelle Aubret. Four of his records have been awarded "record of the year," namely "Mme Eugene" in 1959, "Sega le 1er Janvier" in 1969, "Oté La Reunion" in Reunion Island in 1972, and "Seychelles bijou de l’Ocean" in Seychelles in 1974. Some other best-selling records of his include "Sega Bitoule," "Sega Pere Laval," "Si to content moi," "Eta," "Maurice mo pays," "Marchand Pistasse," “Bouge bougé” and  “Moi mo ene ti kreol.”

Serge Lebrasse was not only celebrated for his performances but also recognized for his expertise in shaping the cultural landscape of Mauritius. He was recommended to work as an officer in the Ministry of Arts and Culture, Mauritius, where he spent numerous years advising and shaping the entertainment culture of the nation.


Furthermore, Serge frequently graced Mauritius' hotel and resort stages, where he passionately promoted Sega and Mauritian local culture to tourists, enriching their experiences and fostering a deeper appreciation for the island's heritage. 


Serge Lebrasse was often hailed as "the king of the Mauritian sega'' by the press, a title that resonated with his unparalleled talent and enduring influence. Throughout his illustrious career, spanning performances in Mauritius, the Seychelles, Reunion, and Canada, Lebrasse's music remained a beacon of joy and cultural pride. Alongside esteemed colleagues such as Roger Augustin, Casambo Fanfan, Michel Legris, Claudio Veeraragoo, Françis Solomon, Roger Clency, Jean Claude Gaspard and Ti Frer, Lebrasse epitomized the rhythmic heartbeat of sega, captivating audiences with his infectious melodies.

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Amidst his remarkable achievements, including being crowned Honorary Citizen of Rose-Hill and appointed as a Member of the British Empire in 1976, Lebrasse received prestigious accolades from dignitaries like Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Margareth. His legacy transcended borders, making him a cherished symbol of Mauritian culture worldwide—a true embodiment of Mauritian spirit and heritage.


Throughout his illustrious career, Serge Lebrasse's performances have not only entertained, but also served as a bridge between cultures, fostering harmony and unity through the universal language of music. Through his dedication and talent, Serge Lebrasse played a pivotal role in showcasing the vibrancy and richness of Mauritian culture to audiences both locally and internationally.


Having released albums and enraptured audiences globally in a career spanning 55 years through to 2016, Serge chose to retire at the age of 86. On April 6th, 2023, at 93 years old, he passed away, leaving behind a legacy as a Mauritian music icon. 


Beyond his musical influence, he was cherished as a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In recognition of his significant contributions to Mauritian arts, April 6th is now celebrated as Sega Day in his honor.

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