Zimbabweans from all walks of life have been paying tribute to Congolese music icon Papa Wemba.
Fellow music icon, Oliver Mtukudzi, called on the media to ensure the musical genius of the African legends such as Papa Wemba is not lost. Mtukudzi recalls the first time he heard Papa Wemba sing, “I saw a movie called “La Vie” (La Vie Est Belle) where he was a supporting actor and he was signing this song. I fell in love with this song and I tried to find out who this guy is and discovered it was Papa Wemba. Since then I have been a fan.”
The two would meet later on many occasions. According to Mtukudzi, Papa Wemba’s voice was his talent. “It is a sad thing that Papa Wemba has gone. He was a unique artist. We have shared a stage and several festivals abroad.”
Across the country, Zimbabwe has been paying tribute to the late King of Rhumba Rock. One fan says, “It is tragic and it came as a surprise. He is a legend who, coincidentally, died at the same time as U.S. legend Prince.” Another recalls found memories of Papa Wemba’s music, “I remember having all night dance parties to his music-and his music alone-when I was younger. I do not know if there is anyone who will be able to fill his shoes.”
Young musicians also paid tribute to impact the icon had on the local music. Papa Wemba’s death comes as Africans bemoan the loss of identity in African music. Mtukudzi blames this loss on the media. “You don’t promote who you are. You promote alien music. You do not take about Africa’s experiences.”
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Source – sabc