Papa Wemba: Africa’s Planetary Star

Papa Wemba1Very few in this world have had a chance to ‘depart’ while doing something they loved, while in the midst of doing something they’ve always been passionate about. Papa Wemba’s departure was sudden, but it was in the midst of doing what he loved. This man had been at the forefront of African music for over 40 years. He was truly an African global star. He loved Rumba and introduced the world to the Rumba Rock. Japanese fans created bands and sang in Lingala in Japan, thanks to Papa Wemba’s touring the country. Papa Wemba toured the United States with artists such as Peter Gabriel. People in Colombia and in other countries across the world danced to the rhythm of Papa Wemba. He was truly a global star, and Africa just lost a legend.

9 thoughts on “Papa Wemba: Africa’s Planetary Star

  1. That is a name that has been showing up for Congolese musicians I should check out. At the time of this comment, I checked out his song Yolele. Good stuff. May he rest in peace. I wish I knew about him and his music earlier regardless if I discovered my Congolese heritage or not.

    Botondi yo, Dr. Y! Papa Wemba ya ndele ezali malamu.


      1. I’m really starting to notice that and I’ve been listening to more and more of his music. His lyrics have also been helping me out in learning Lingala. Haha!


      2. That’s really cool! I’ve been liking that language and it’s certainly more musical than English. Haha! I’d say go for it in learning that language. The Congolese music has been really great and I’ve been checking out their rap music like Alesh, gospel with Alka Mbumba, and the experimental stuff from there like Konono No. 1.

        You said you were Cameroonian, right? How close is Lingala to the native languages there?


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