24 April 2016
Papa Wemba, a popular Congolese musician, has died today after collapsing on stage during a concert.
Born on 14 June 1949, Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, also known as Papa Wemba, was a popular figure in Africa world music. Artistes all over the world have described him as a major influence on their work and is often placed in the same class as Nigeria’s Fela Kuti in terms of cultural influence.
He helped modernise Congolese rumba music, revolutionizing music all over Africa, earning him the moniker: King of Rumba. His immaculate fashion sense and personal style also influenced a generation of young Congolese men.
Though the cause of death is yet to be ascertained, the musician was said to have suffered a seizure and later slumped on stage during a performance at a show in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He was aged 66.