Angolan Musicians Deem Musician Papa Wemba African Culture Icon
Angolan musicians are lamenting the passing of the renowned DR Congo musician Papa Wemba, which took place last Saturday evening in Abidjan, Côte D'ivoire, on the stage of a concert.
Speaking last Monday to ANGOP, some Angolan musicians said that Papa Wemba is an icon of African culture.
The veteran singer Prado Paim said that the achievements of the Congolese musician should be used as lessons for future generations of artists. He said Papa Wemba was a nationalist that defended the African culture outside the continent, conveying in his music messages about real situations of the African continent.
"Papa Wemba is a compulsory reference, because he was a spokesman who transmitted the collective sentiment of Africans", stressed Prado Paím.
Another veteran musician, António Paulino, described the death of Papa Wemba an irreparable loss, since he (Wemba) has always been an ambassador of African culture, having influenced many musicians of the continent.
"Personally, I've always admired Papa Wemba, even though I do not understand the lyrics of his songs, but the melody is contagious to me", said the Angolan singer.
Born Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, the 66-year old Papa Wemba started to excel in his artistic career when he joined the Zaiko Langa Langa band, at the age of 20. Eventually, he left the band, adopting the name Papa Wemba, and after performing with the American musician Stevie Wonder, he started to be called King of African Rumba.
Papa Wemba was also known for his sophisticated dressing, often emulated by young Congolese citizens and others.
He also had a band, dubbed Viva La Música, that toured with and helped him spread Congolese and African sounds, becoming one of the icons of the music of this continent, at international level.