The International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in
partnership with the African Union Commission, AU, mourns the death of
Papa Wemba, real name Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba.

The iconic musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo died in
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, during the FEMUA urban music festival on Sunday
April 24, 2016. He was 66.

Papa Wemba was considered an African icon and world music star after
fusing his Central African musical heritage with Western pop, rock and
rap. He pioneered a blend of African, Cuban and Western sounds, which
became one of Africa’s most popular music styles. This earned him the
nickname “King of Rhumba Rock”. Besides his musical influence, Wemba
popularised Sapeur fashion, an eccentric look with three-piece suits,
shiny black leather shoes and flashy accessories.

Reacting to the death of Papa Wemba, President and Executive Producer,
AFRIMA, Mr Mike Dada said: “At AFRIMA, we feel a sense of humongous loss
since the announcement of the death of Papa Wemba. This is the time we
at AFRIMA and Africa at large need him the most. He was one of the
African music legends that had shown interest in attending AFRIMA 3.0 in
November this year. He was a voice of Africa, an icon of African music
and epitome of Africanness. His pride and commitment to African music
and sense of dressing were part of the narratives of African culture.
These are the African narratives we shared and are propagating across
the world.”

Dada said further: “The International Committee of AFRIMA recognises the
role of African legends, dead or alive, in music, culture and
entertainment. In 2014, the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was honoured with a
Posthumous Legendary award for his contribution to the narratives of
Africa while Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa won the award at
the 2015 edition in Lagos, which coincided with the group’s 55th
anniversary of telling the African story worldwide.”

In partnership with the African Union Commission, AFRIMA is a project
developed to celebrate, reward and showcase the rich musical culture of
Africa, stimulate conversations among Africans and between Africa and
the rest of the world about the great potentials and values of African
culture and artistic heritage, for the purpose of creating jobs,
reducing poverty, and calling attention of world leaders to Africa as
well as promoting the positive image of Africa to the world.

President and Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr Mike Dada

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