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In DR Congo: Thousands attend Wembas memorial

Late Congolese Musical Star, Papa Wemba
Late Congolese Musical Star, Papa Wemba

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-Thousands of people are attending the first day of official memorial ceremonies in the Democratic Republic of Congo to mark the death of musical star, Papa Wemba.

Reports say the body of Wemba is lying in the Parliamentary Building in the capital, Kinshasa, and will be taken later to his family home for public viewing.

BBC’s Maud Jullien from Kinshasa quotes protocol of the occasion as saying: “Papa Wemba will be buried Wednesday, May 4, 2016.”

Wemba, affectionately Known as the King of Congolese Rumba, collapsed and died on stage in the West African state of Ivory Coast on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at age 66.

According to the reports, as his body lay in the Parliamentary Building, President Joseph Kabila delivered a tribute to the fallen singer, thanking him for the "loyal and eminent services given the Congolese nation.”

The BBC also said huge posters of the musician have been hung on the facade of the building.

Correspondent Jullien said: “A stage has been set up outside the building for people unable to get in and fans from all over DR Congo are expected to attend the official commemoration.”

Papa Wemba is considered as one of Africa's most influential musicians.

He pioneered modern Congolese soukous music that spread throughout the continent.

In his 40-year career, Wemba collaborated with stars like Peter Gabriel or Stevie Wonder in the music industry.



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