Inside DRC

Congo musician Papa Wemba laid to rest


The funeral for one of Africa’s biggest music stars, Papa Wemba, was today held in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Large crowds gathered outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, where the private service took place.

The singer’s body was buried later in the capital.

Wemba, dubbed the king of Congolese rumba, died at the age of 66, after collapsing on stage in Ivory Coast on 24 April.

Mourners in DR Congo’s second city of Lubumbashi have also been attending a parallel service for Wemba.

It follows Monday’s official commemorations, which were attended by thousands of people.

“His angelic voice now returns to the place from which it first came,” said Cardinal Monseno at the Kinshasa service, quoted by Africa News on Twitter.

Papa Wemba was born Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba in June 1949 in Lubefu, in what was then the Belgian Congo.

He was considered one of Africa’s most influential musicians and pioneered modern Congolese soukous music, which spread through the continent.

In a career which spanned over four decades, he collaborated with stars like Peter Gabriel and Stevie Wonder.


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