Papa Wemba’s popularity

Here’s a link to an excellent  background story from “the Beeb” on legendary Congolese musician Papa Wemba’s central  role in the African music and culture scenes through six decades. I was not aware that he led the Sape movement, which has gotten some recent popular attention in the media over the last few years.

He became the leader of the Sape – short for Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes d’Elegance or Society of Ambiance-ists and People of Elegance – whose members, the sapeurs, were known for their elegant style of dress.

On Sunday morning, Papa Wemba, the King of Rumba Rock, died on stage doing what he loved best, and the last thing he heard as he lay dying was his own music being played.

Papa Wemba‘s album Emotion (1995), was one of 40 or so commercially released recordings from 1970-2014, and the only one to garner international success outside Africa, sold over 100,000 copies. It was released by Peter Gabriel‘s Real World records

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