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African stars pay tribute to Papa Wemba

(FILES) This file photo taken on February 15, 2006 shows Congolese singer Papa Wemba performing during a concert at the New Morning in Paris. Congolese singer Papa Wemba, 66, died on Saturday night after he collapsed on stage in Abidjan where he participated to the Anoumabo urban music festival, according to the organizers. PIERRE VERDY / AFP

(FILES) This file photo taken on February 15, 2006 shows Congolese singer Papa Wemba performing during a concert at the New Morning in Paris. Congolese singer Papa Wemba, 66, died on Saturday night after he collapsed on stage in Abidjan where he participated to the Anoumabo urban music festival, according to the organizers. PIERRE VERDY / AFP

Music fans across Africa are mourning the death of Congolese musician, Papa Wemba, who died at the age of 66 after collapsing on stage on Sunday morning.

Stars have been paying tribute to a man whose music influenced artists across Africa.

“I’m sad, and I’ve been struggling since the death of Prince and now we have the passing of Papa Wemba and I’m wondering what this is all about.

“I worked with Papa Wemba and he was a very nice, genuine soul and very shy at the same time.

“I did a duet with him, Ami Oh, on a Manu Dibango album, and when you heard him sing it was magical that a guy who was that big had such an angelic voice.

“He was a generous soul when it came to helping people, and he didn’t say much, but he observed a lot and when he spoke in that gentle voice, everything he said was right on the spot.

His whole attitude about dressing well was part of the narrative that we Africans have been denied our humanity for so long.

People have always had stereotypes about us, and he was saying dressing well is not just a matter of money, not just something for Westerners, but that we Africans also have elegance. It was all about defining ourselves and refusing to be stripped of our humanity,”
Angelique Kidjo told the BBC.

“Africa has lost another worthy son in the shape of Papa Wemba. It’s a painful beginning to 2016.
He was the voice of Africa.

“We are all orphans… May the heaven and the spirits welcome him in peace. Papa Wemba will remain forever in our hearts,” Manu Dibango left this message on his Facebook page.

“It’s a catastrophe. Congolese music has been decimated, it’s been blown apart. I don’t know what to say.



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