Congolese musician dies at 66

Congolese musician dies at 66

Papa Wemba, an Influential Congolese music star has died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan in Ivory Coast.

Congolese musician dies at 66

A picture from the video showing Papa Wemba collapsing while performing

Media reports say the video from the concert shows the artist, slumped on the floor as dancers continue to perform, unaware of what is happening. France 24 confirmed the death of the broadcaster.

Congolese musician dies at 66

Papa Wemba being attended to on stage after collapsing

The 66 years old Congolese band leader, whose real name was Jules Shungu Webadio, also inspired a cult movement known as the Sapeurs whose members, young men, spend huge amounts of money on designer clothes.


In 2004, he was convicted of people-smuggling in France and spent three months in prison. He was convicted of the same crime in 2012 by a Belgian court. In addition to the prison time he spent in Europe, he was once jailed in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), for allegedly having an affair with a general’s daughter.

A spokesman for the Ivosep morgue in Abidjan told Reuters news agency reports that the artist fell ill while performing at 05:30 (05:30 GMT) on Sunday and died before he could be brought to hospital.

He remained one of Africa’s most popular musicians. Soukous, also known as rumba rock, became the most popular sound across Africa. Papa Wemba is best known for his soukous rock music on the African music scene. He appeared in two feature films, Life Is Beautiful (1987) and Wild Games (1997).

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