Music legend Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba (66), commonly known as Papa Wemba who died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, during the FEMUA urban music festival on Sunday, 24 April 2016 was buried on 4 May 2016 in his home country of DR Congo.
Following his death, fellow musicians and fans gather across several continents of the world to pay tribute to his legacy and career which spanned almost half a century.
Papa Wemba who played Congolese rumba, soukous and ndombolo was dubbed the King of Rumba Rock who helped shape his country’s music scene, making his style of Congolese rumba one of the most popular on the continent.
He was one of the most popular musicians of his time in Africa and played an important role in world music. His flamboyant style also inspired a generation of fashionable young Africans known as Sapeurs which he popularised through his musical group Viva la Musica with whom he performed throughout the world.
Wemba’s biggest hits included L’Esclave and Le Voyageur.
A private funeral was held for him at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It caps three days of commemorations attended by thousands of people from all walks of life. Mourners also attended a final memorial service for him in the second city of Lubumbashi.
“His angelic voice has returned to the place from which it first came,” said Cardinal Monseno at the Kinshasa service.