Paul Banda joins African stars in mourning Papa Wemba


The country’s legendary singer and guitarist Paul Banda Monday said that he was shocked with the death of Congolese rumba musician Papa Wemba.

Papa Wemba real name Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba died on Sunday at the age of 66.

The musician, who was one of Africa’s popular musicians, prominent in world music and a fashion icon, died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.


“I was shocked to hear the news on BBC that Papa Wemba died after collapsing on stage. It’s sad to lose such a well known musician. Actually when I heard the news, I recalled the death of another giant musician Pepe Kalle, who also died in a similar manner,” said the old-timer, who will be launching The Best of Sir Paul Banda in Lilongwe early next month.

He added:

“You see these rumba giants have taught us music and have inspired us. For a long time our school of music has been listening to these musicians and I should say that a lot of us have been inspired by musicians like Papa Wemba.”


Paul also said that Congolese musicians such as Papa Wemba have had an influence on Malawi’s music.

“We have played rumba songs here and there is just a lot we have learned. So Papa Wemba’s death has shocked me,” he said.

Vice Director of Salama Africa Dance Crew based at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa, Toussaint Farini, said Papa Wemba was a talented musician.

“I remember when I was in DRC in Goma town, we met there and he was a humble man. A lot of musicians have learned from him. He was well known and for me he was a legend of African music,” said Farini, whose group were the finalists of the Ka Jive Dance competition Season II spearheaded by Times Television through Times Group.

He said he alongside his brother used to get advice from him and that they knew him because of Koffi Olomide, who was part of his Viva La Musica group.

Meanwhile music fans across Africa are mourning the death of the Congolese musician.

Other well known African starts who have morned Papa Wemba are Manu Dibango, Koffi Domide, Angelique Kidjo and Femi Kuti.

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