Papa Wemba’s body arrives home in Congo

Papa Wemba on stage during his final performanceImage copyright
AFP

Image caption

Papa Wemba died after collapsing on state at a music festival in Ivory Coast

The body of Papa Wemba, one of Africa’s best known singers, has arrived back in the Democratic Republic of Congo after his death on Sunday in Ivory Coast.

Hundreds of people were waiting outside Kinshasa’s airport for the body’s arrival.

An all-night concert has been held in his honour in Abidjan, the city where he collapsed and died on stage.

He is due to be buried on Tuesday after lying in state in a stadium in DR Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, on Monday.

Government officials and diplomats will attend a memorial service for the singer at the airport before the body is taken to a morgue, reports the BBC’s Poly Muzalia from Kinshasa.

Africa Live: More on this and other news stories

What made Papa Wemba so influential?

African stars pay tribute to Papa Wemba

In photos: Congo music legend Papa Wemba

Image caption

Mourners were waiting at Kinshasa’s airport for the body to arrive

Papa Wemba, who died aged 66, was considered one of Africa’s most influential musicians of his generation.

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

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

An all-night concert was held in Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan in Papa Wemba’s honour

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Hundreds of his fans turned up to pay tribute to Papa Wemba

Many of Africa’s top musicians have paid tribute to Papa Wemba, including Cameroon’s Manu Dibango, who described him as the “voice of Africa”.

Ivory Coast’s Culture Minister Maurice Bandaman said at a memorial service before the body left that “an artist never dies… Papa Wemba is dead, and now [he is] even greater than before,” reports the AFP news agency.

The BBC’s Tamasin Ford in Abidjan says most of the audience at the all-night concert were dressed in white as a mark of respect.

Papa Wemba’s wife and his entire entourage were there, and his daughter read out a memorial prayer.

Performers included Ivorian stars Magic System, Meiway, Espoir 2000, Zouglou Makers and members of his Viva La Musica group, who were on stage with him when he died.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

The musicians and dancers who were with Papa Wemba when he died paid tribute to him on Wednesday night


Loading...


comments powered by Disqus