As fans and fellow musicians continue to mourn Congolese crooner Papa Wemba, who died at a concert in Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday night, plans are underway to fly his body to Kinshasa.

His widow, Mama-Marie Lozolo Amazone, flew to Abidjan on Monday morning, accompanied by family members and government officials.

As the music world in Africa, Europe and America comes to terms with Papa Wemba’s death, the shock has been palpable, especially coming soon after former Afrisa International Band guitarist Shaba Kahamba died in Holland.

Talking to the Nation from Kinshasa on Monday, former Wenge Musica singer Adolph Dominquez said most top musicians would be gathering from this evening at Papa Wemba’s residence led by Kiamuangana Mateta Verkys.

“We will give details of funeral arrangements once the body is brought, most likely by Thursday,” Dominquez said.

It was not clear if a postmortem examination would be conducted in Abidjan.

Among musicians involved in funeral arrangements are Nyoka Longo, Maika Munan, Koffi Olomide, Werra Son, Tshala Muana, Fally Ipupa and Papa Wemba’s protege Reddy Amisi. 

According to family sources, Papa Wemba had been off the stage for a while recuperating, after having been hospitalised in Paris, France.  Congolese musicians in Paris will converge on a restaurant to mourn the fallen comrade on Thursday and Friday. 

Speaking to the Nation on Monday,  veteran singer and composer Nyboma Mwandido said they would be dressed like Papa Wemba.

“We want to celebrate what Papa Wemba was known to promote in terms of attire and music,” he said.

Similar gatherings will be held in London, Brussels and Nairobi led by JC Motindo, promoter Jules Nsana, and fan Paulin Wanga, among others.


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