Papa Wemba dies after collapsing on stage


Papa Wemba, the world music star known as the “king of Congolese rumba”, has died after collapsing on stage during a concert.

The 66-year-old singer collapsed at the Femua festival of urban music in Abidjan,Ivory Coast, on Saturday night.

The organisers confirmed his death on Sunday, extending condolences to his family “and the world of culture”.

Baudouin Banza Mukalay, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s culture minister, said: “It is a great loss for Congo and for all of Africa. He was a self-made man, a role model for Congolese youth.”

The Senagalese superstar Youssou N’dour also paid tribute to Wemba. He posted a video of the two of them on Twitter performing together underneath the words: “Heavy heart, heavy, really heavy. Rest in peace the artist.”

Video footage showed Wemba, wearing a bold black and white patterned tunic and oversized bowler hat, falling to the floor during a song and musicians and backing singers running to his aid.

The father-of-six was taken to a nearby clinic but could not be resuscitated. Wemba had appeared to be in good health just days earlier, when he met journalists at the beginning of the music festival. The cause of death was not immediately known.