AUC Chairperson condolences message on the death of Papa Wemba

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has extended her heartfelt condolences and conveyed her sympathies to the friends, fans and family of the African musician of Congolese origin, Papa Wemba, who died while performing at a concert in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, on Saturday, 24 April 2016.

“The passing of Papa Wemba is a tragic loss, not only for the people of the Democratice Republic of Congo, but for Africa as a whole and the world in general”, Dr. Dlamini Zuma said. “His music served both as a cultural tool for bringing Africa's diverse populations together, but also, crucially, to project an African voice, into the global scheme. His talent and spirit will be greatly missed”, she added.

With a career spanning over four decades and resulting in numerous national and international accolades, Papa Wemba, born Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, is a legend and icon in African music. Known also as Africa's King of Rhumba Rock, Papa Wemba's original sounds have roused and inspired many across the African continent, Europe and beyond.

Papa Wemba's unique voice to contribute to a more positive narrative about Africa — beyond war, famine and poverty - and his music has been a tool for the promotion of African integration through arts and culture. He stood for, and advocated for a self-reliant Africa.

In the spirit of giving his best to Africa, the King of Rhumba Rock was one of the artists that came to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when we were celebrating 50th anniversary of our continental organization OAU/AU, in May 2013.

Papa Wemba may be gone, but his music will stay with us forever.