Thousands pay tribute to Papa Wemba


Thousands of people are attending the first day of official commemorations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to mark the sudden death of music star Papa Wemba.

His body is lying in the parliamentary building in the capital, Kinshasa, and will be taken later to his family home for the public to view.

Papa Wemba will be buried on Wednesday.

Known as the king of Congolese rumba, the 66-year-old collapsed and died on stage in Ivory Coast on 24 April.

As his body lay in the parliamentary building, President Joseph Kabila delivered a tribute to the singer, thanking him for the “loyal and eminent services given to the Congolese nation”.

Huge posters of the musician have been hung on the facade of the building, reports the BBC’s Maud Jullien from Kinshasa.


Fans from all over DR Congo are expected to the attend the official commemoration, she adds.

A stage has been set up outside the building for people unable to get in, our correspondent adds.

Papa Wemba was considered one of Africa’s most influential musicians.

He pioneered modern Congolese soukous music, which spread through the continent.

In his 40 year career he collaborated with stars like Peter Gabriel or Stevie Wonder.


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