Papa Wemba’s remains to be flown to DR Congo Thursday

April 27, 2016 10:07 am
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Papa Wemba performs at Capital FM's Koroga Festival in 2014/FILE
Papa Wemba performs at Capital FM’s Koroga Festival in 2014/FILE

, ABIDJAN, Cote D’ivoire, Apr 2 7 – The remains of Papa Wemba, the “Congolese king of rumba” who died during a concert in Ivory Coast, will be flown to his homeland on Thursday, a festival organiser said.

A plane has been chartered by the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to repatriate his body, Ivorian musician and festival promoter Salif Traore, known as A’Salfo, told AFP on Tuesday.

Overview
  • The flamboyant star died at the age of 66 after collapsing on stage at a music festival in Abidjan on Sunday, but the cause of death is not yet known.
  • Several relatives including his widow Marie Rose, known as Maman Amazone, arrived in the Ivory Coast on Monday to prepare for the repatriation.
  • It is not yet known when his funeral will be held.

Ivory Coast is hosting an all-night concert tribute to Papa Wemba from Wednesday evening that organisers have said will be a “big artistic wake” for one of Africa’s most renowned musicians.

The flamboyant star died at the age of 66 after collapsing on stage at a music festival in Abidjan on Sunday, but the cause of death is not yet known.

Several relatives including his widow Marie Rose, known as Maman Amazone, arrived in the Ivory Coast on Monday to prepare for the repatriation.

It is not yet known when his funeral will be held.

A pioneer of the fusion of Cuban and electronic rock in the 1970s, Papa Wemba found world renown as African music grew in popularity in Europe and the United States over the following decades.

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