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King of rumba Papa Wemba laid to rest

By AFP

Added 5th May 2016 05:50 AM

About 10,000 more crammed into the streets outside, where giant screens were erected to watch the service

King of rumba Papa Wemba laid to rest

Alain Akouala Atipault, Congolese Minister of Special Economic Zones and former culture minister, lays flowers next to the coffin of rumba musician Papa Wemba during his funeral in Kinshasa on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

About 10,000 more crammed into the streets outside, where giant screens were erected to watch the service

Thousands of fans paid a last tearful tribute to Congolese "rumba king" Papa Wemba at a requiem mass in Kinshasa on Wednesday where his songs were played, before he was finally laid to rest.

Papa Wemba was a "worthy son of the DRC, the quality of his work has made him a citizen of the world", the president of the national episcopal conference of Congo, Bishop Nicolas Djomo, said in a homily.

He was "a great artist who was able to speak to all social classes," and "a man who did not live for himself but for others and for God."

  mourner kisses the coffin of rumba musician apa emba during his funeral in inshasa on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      A mourner kisses the coffin of rumba musician Papa Wemba during his funeral in Kinshasa on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

He conveyed "the message of love, the message of peace and of reconciliation".

Papa Wemba collapsed while performing at a festival in Ivory Coast on April 24. The flamboyant musician, who led the Kinshasa music scene for four decades, died before reaching hospital. He was 66.

His body returned to his native Democratic Republic of Congo last week, and lay in state at the national parliament since Monday.

  mourner pays his respects during the funeral of rumba musician apa emba in inshasa on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      A mourner pays his respects during the funeral of rumba musician Papa Wemba in Kinshasa on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

"For three days, like one man, the Congolese people", Africa and the world "cried over the one they agreed to call the father of Congolese rumba," said the archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo.

Six bishops, about 60 priests, family members, officials and celebrities were among about 2,000 people in the Notre Dame du Congo Cathedral for the mass in his honour.

 rtists sing over the coffin of rumba musician apa emba during his funeral in inshasa on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      Artists sing over the coffin of rumba musician Papa Wemba during his funeral in Kinshasa on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

About 10,000 more crammed into the streets outside, where giant screens were erected to watch the service.

Many young people were among those who sweated, many bare-chested, under Kinshasa's brutal equatorial sun to hear the service.

Some had gathered since dawn on Wednesday to watch the funeral cortege arrive.

Before the service, Cardinal Monsengwo, Bishop Djomo, and other clerics, bowed before the coffin and before Papa Wemba's tearful widow.

  member of a  movement ociete des mbianceurs et des ersonnes legantes or ociety of mbianceakers and legant eople gathers with others in the streets of illage olokoi in the atonge neighborhood of inshasa to pay tribute to late rumba musician apa emba on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      A member of La SAPE movement ("Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes" or "Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People") gathers with others in the streets of 'Village Molokoi', in the Matonge neighborhood of Kinshasa, to pay tribute to late rumba musician Papa Wemba on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

In his funeral oration, the governor of Kinshasa, Andre Kimbuta, honoured the memory "of the high priest of Congolese music".

The oration was interspersed with excerpts of Papa Wemba's songs, including "L'Esclave" which recounts the stories of African slaves taken to America, as many in the congregation responded with barely muffled sobs.

 ongolese actress ibi rubwa mourns during the funeral of rumba musician apa emba in inshasa on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      Congolese actress Bibi Krubwa mourns during the funeral of rumba musician Papa Wemba in Kinshasa on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

Congo's President Joseph Kabila on Monday posthumously awarded Papa Wemba one of the country's highest honours, making him a grand officer of the Order of National Heroes Kabila-Lumumba.

 emocratic epublic of the ongo resident oseph abila  pays his respects during the funeral of rumba musician apa emba in inshasa on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila (C) pays his respects during the funeral of rumba musician Papa Wemba in Kinshasa on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

A father of six, Papa Wemba helped to pioneer a blend of Congolese popular music with electric rock during the 1980s, when an interest in world music stirred in Western countries.

 eople raise their fists as they gather in the streets of illage olokoi in the atonge neighborhood of inshasa to pay tribute to late rumba musician apa emba on ay 2 2016 emocratic epublic of ongos rumba king apa emba was posthumously awarded one of his countrys highest honours a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66      People raise their fists as they gather in the streets of 'Village Molokoi', in the Matonge neighborhood of Kinshasa, to pay tribute to late rumba musician Papa Wemba on May 2, 2016. Democratic Republic of Congo's rumba king Papa Wemba was posthumously awarded one of his country's highest honours, a week after he collapsed on stage and died aged 66. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

 ans of late ongolese rumba star apa emba walk towards the morgue with the cortege during the repatriation of the body of apa emba in emocratic epublic of ongo in imete inshasa on pril 28 2016 apa emba one of the biggest names in frican music for the past 40 years died aged 66 after falling ill on pril 24 during a performance at         Fans of late Congolese rumba star Papa Wemba, walk towards the morgue with the cortege during the repatriation of the body of Papa Wemba in Democratic Republic of Congo, in Limete, Kinshasa, on April 28, 2016. Papa Wemba, one of the biggest names in African music for the past 40 years, died aged 66 after falling ill on April 24 during a performance at FEMUA. / AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR KANNAH

 

He was laid to rest later Wednesday in a cemetery on the eastern outskirts of Kinshasa -- the Necropole Entre Ciel et Terre (Graveyard Between Heaven and Earth), where the cheapest tomb costs $1,500 -- in the presence of several thousand fans.

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