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Music fraternity mourns Papa Wemba

Ivory Coast

As the world still mourns the king of rumba, Papa Wemba, there has been an outpouring of grief and tributes from his fans around the world.

In his native Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, family, friends and fans gathered outside his studio headquarters to mourn the late singer.

The country’s Minister of Art and Culture hailed Papa Wemba as a man who could be trusted for his words.

He was a reference. In Africa, he modernized our music.

“You know he had a little discomfort before going to Abidjan. He came back to honour his signature and contract. This shows that he was a man of his words,” Baudouin Banza Mukalay, Minister of Arts and Culture in DRC told AFP.

“I have lost a brother, he was of my generation, even though he was older than me. He was amongst Africa’s music dinosaurs, who are slowly disappearing one by one and who are irreplaceable,” said Mike Munane,n a sound eneneer of Papa Wemba.

Eric Didia, a promoter of Congolese music in Ivory Coast and friend of Wemba said he left a powerful legacy through his music.

“Music does not die. People can listen to Papa Wemba songs in 50 years, in 100 years. And even though it’s a loss of inspiration because we won’t have as many new songs, Wemba’s art lives on,” he said.

The Magic System who were inspired by Wemba’s music praised him, calling him a respected person.

“He was a reference. In Africa, he modernized our music. If he had not done so then we would be very far away at the back. He was tremendous and a wonderful person who won my respect,” said A’Salfo, Leader of Ivory Coast Magic System.

Papa Wemba’s death is a big blow to Congolese music enthusiasts worldwide as he was one of the finest Lingala composers and vocalists.

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