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Papa Wemba: Memorial service held for 'Rumba King' in Ivory Coast

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A memorial ceremony was held in Ivory Coast’s capital, Abidjan, for the late ‘Congolese king of rumba’ Papa Wemba.

The singer’s widow, Marie Rose, known as Maman Amazone, family members, and his band members attended the service.

Also in attendance was Ivorian Prime Minister, Daniel Kablan Duncan.

An artist does not die. An artist dies and becomes even greater. Papa Wemba's is now larger than life.

Several men carried the coffin of the Congolese rumba star.

Papa Wemba died at the age of 66 after collapsing on stage at a music festival in Abidjan on Sunday but the cause of his death has not yet been established.

During the service, Ivorian Minister of Culture and Francophonie, Maurice Bandaman said, “An artist does not die. An artist dies and becomes even greater. Papa Wemba’s is now larger than life.”

In a career spanning decades, Wemba inspired a generation of African musicians.

Soon after his death, tributes poured from all over the world with many acknowledging that the music industry has been dealt a huge blow.

He also helped inspire a movement known as the Sapeurs whose members wear stylish clothes.

After the service, an all night tribute concert was held at the Palace of Culture in Abidjan with members of the musician’s group giving a special performance.

His body has been flown a plane chartered by the Congolese government to Kinshasa. The musician will be laid to rest on Tuesday.


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