ABIDJAN — Papa Wemba, one of Africa’s greatest music stars, has died after collapsing on stage during a festival in Ivory Coast. He was 66.
The Congolese world music legend was renowned as the “king of Congolese rumba” for the fusion of Cuban and electronic rock that he pioneered in the 1970s.
He died after falling sick during a set at the Urban Musical Festival Anoumabo (FEMUA) in Abidjan, the first major cultural event in the country since a jihadist attack on a beach resort last month.
Video footage broadcast live on television showed the dramatic moment that Papa Wemba — wearing a bold black and white patterned tunic and oversized bowler hat — slumped to the floor behind a group of dancers, before performers rushed to his aid.
FEMUA organisers expressed “deep sorrow” at the death of a man who has been at the forefront of African music for more than four decades.
“Papa Wemba wanted to die on stage, that’s what he told me two weeks ago when I spoke to him on the phone,” said festival promoter and singer Salif Traore, known as A’Salfo.
A’Salfo, lead singer with the Ivorian group Magic System, said he understood Papa Wemba died on the way to hospital and that a journalist who interviewed him earlier in the day had noticed that he appeared unwell.
“[The journalist] told me that Papa Wemba was showing signs of fatigue. He was drinking water between every sentence,” A’Salfo said.
The festival was held just over a month after the Islamist attack on the beach resort of Grand-Bassam on March 13 that left 19 people dead.
One shot dead at Duhabi
INARUWA—A person was shot dead nearby Jayababa Brick Kiln at Duhabi Municiplaity-9 in Sunsari district.
Jayababa Brick Kiln, Supervisor Fida Hussain, 50, a local, was shot dead, confirmed Sub Inspector Gyanendra Prasad Phuyal.
Eyewitness said that two people borne out in a motorbike in black clothes had shot at Hussain.
He was shot down while he was with his wife on morning walk.Follow @gorkhapost