Sunday, April 24, 2016 1:30 pm
By Funsho Arogundade
Papa Wemba, one of Africa’s most popular musicians, is dead.
The influential Congolese Soukous singer died suddenly after collapsing on stage in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
According to reports, the 66 year-old musician suffered seizure, slumped on the floor while his dancers and band members continue to perform unaware of what is happening.
Born Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba in 14 June 1949 in Lubefu, Democratic Republic of The Congo. At age 20 in 1069, he became one of the very first musicians to join the influential Soukous Band, Zaiko Langa Langa, when it was created in December of that year in Kinshasa along with such well known Congolese musicians as Nyoka Longo Jossart, Manuaku Pepe Felly, Evoloko Lay Lay, Bimi Ombale, Teddy Sukami, Zamuangana Enock, Mavuela Simeon, Clan Petrole and others.
As an accomplished singer, Papa Wemba was also known as an actor.
In 1987, he played the lead role in the successful Zairean (Congolese) film La Vie est Belle by Belgian director Benoit Lamyand Congolese producer-director Ngangura Mweze.
In 2012, he also had a cameo role in the Belgian drama film Kinshasa Kids.
As a thoroughbred musician. Papa Wemba featured in many top-notch concerts across the globe and died on stage doing what he loved best.