Congolese music star Papa Wemba dies at 66, slumps during live performance


• Papa Wemba performing yesterday Sunday just before he slumped (Photo Credits:

By Kayode Taiwo Olla

Congolese music celebrity figure Papa Wemba has died yesterday Sunday at age 66 after he slumped on stage during a live performance in Adbijan, Ivory Coast.

The unexpected event was greeted with a spontaneous rush to his aid by his group of dancers behind him and everyone around. Papa Wemba died while being conveyed to the hospital.

Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, famously known by the stage name Papa, was born June 14, 1959 in Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire and Congo Kinshasa) and passed on only one month and a his 67th birthday. The legendary artiste was known for songs like Yolele, Wake Up, Rail On and Sala Keba among others. He pioneeringly blended African, Cuban and Western sounds and has his creation become one of Africa’s most popular music styles.
The death of Papa Wemba comes just when the music world internationally is also mourning the loss of yet another legendary artiste, ‘Prince.’ Africa has just had its own irrecoverable loss in the demise of Papa Wemba.

It was reported that Papa Wemba fell ill in the early hours of Saturday morning. But the course of his death on yesterday evening has not been established.

RIP Papa Wemba. Africa will miss you.

Kayode Taiwo Olla is an intense lover – of the arts, of a certain lady, and of Jesus. He is a lecturer as well as a graduate student by daytime and a reader as well as a writer by dusk. He wishes for ever he can just paint with brush like artists do!

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