5 facts about Congolese Musician Papa Wemba

Today marks the one year anniversary of our legendary musician Papa Wemba’s death so we’re bringing you 5 facts about one of Africa’s most influential musicians.

  1. Papa Wemba was born Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba on June 14, 1949 in Lubefu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  2. He began singing in a Roman Catholic church choir, and burst on to the local music scene with his first band, Zaiko Langa Langa, in 1969.
  3. In 1979, he became the unofficial leader of the Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes d‘Élégance (SAPE) which is a society of fashionable and elegant people.
  4. In 2008 he performed at a concert in London to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.
  5. He worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Peter Gabriel.

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