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Manuel Lopes Andrade, aka Tcheka, was born on the 20th July 1973 in the port of Ribeira Barca, Santa Catarina district, on Santiago, the most African island of the Cape Verde archipelago. At a very early age, he began to perform alongside his father, Nho Raul Andrade, a highly popular violinist at the island’s village dances and festivities. Tcheka was in good hands. Every wrong note brought a rap on the knuckles from his father’s bow, but he learned quickly and soon made his mark at dances, weddings, baptisms and so on.