Posted by News Express | 2 May 2016 | 2,065 times
Thousands of people are attending the first day of official commemorations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to mark the sudden death of music star Papa Wemba.
His body is lying in the parliamentary building in the capital, Kinshasa, and will be taken later to his family home for the public to view.
Papa Wemba will be buried on Wednesday.
Known as the king of Congolese rumba, the 66-year-old collapsed and died on stage in Ivory Coast on 24 April.
President Joseph Kabila delivered a tribute to the singer at the parliamentary building, and awarded him one the DR Congo’s highest honours for the “loyal and eminent services given to the nation.”
Fans from all over DR Congo are attending the official commemoration, the BBC's Maud Jullien reports from Kinshasa.
A stage has been set up outside the building for people unable to get in, our correspondent adds.
Papa Wemba was considered one of Africa's most influential musicians.
He pioneered modern Congolese soukous music, which spread through the continent.
In his career which spanned over four decades, he collaborated with stars like Peter Gabriel or Stevie Wonder. (BBC)
•Photo shows late music star Papa Wemba.
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